Tasha leans against the railing of a bridge
overlooking the shuttered mill that, until recently and for many decades, was
the lifeblood of her small Northern Ontario town. A customer service
representative at the local TD Canada Trust branch, she worries about the
effects of this latest economic blow on her customers, most of whom she knows

Not long ago one couple came in to see her and Tasha went over their
whole financial picture with them. As Tasha explains in a video on TD Canada
Trust’s new website for customers who need help, “We were able to arrange
lower monthly payments and offer a bit of a cushion in case times got worse
and they did… the husband lost his job. We don’t know if the mill’s going to
reopen, but what we do know is that this couple is comfortable for the next
few years. They have a plan in place and they’re going to be ok.”

TD Helps (tdcanadatrust.com/tdhelps), launched today by TD Canada Trust,
is a website dedicated to helping customers who are experiencing financial
hardship. Inspired by stories shared among employees on TD’s intranet, videos
on TD Helps feature employees explaining in their own words how they were able
to help their customers.

“Our employees were the driving force behind this website. We thought and
hoped that a lot of our customers would identify with some of the situations
our employees have helped with, and that their stories would encourage people
to come and see us sooner,” says Tim Hockey, President and CEO, TD Canada

Earlier this year, to help customers facing real hardship due to the
economy, TD Canada Trust introduced an internal program to make sure that its
employees knew what some customers were dealing with. Employees were specially
trained and equipped with real solutions, like the ability to defer mortgage
payments, and to consolidate debt for lower monthly payments. And,
importantly, they were given the decision-making ability to make a difference
for those customers.

Says Hockey, “The result was that we were helping thousands of customers
stay in their homes, get their debt under control and their lives back on
track. And while we know it isn’t possible to help 100% of the time, the
program has been a huge success and we wanted to spread it to more customers.
The earlier they come and talk to us, the more we can help.”

Pretty soon TD employees were asking “How do we reach more people? How do
we get the word out to more people that we can help them?” The TD Helps
website, launched with a full on-line marketing campaign, was the answer. The
site features:

– Encouragement to customers to talk to TD Canada Trust as early as
possible about financial problems

– Video interviews with TD Canada Trust employees sharing real life
examples of customers they helped

– The opportunity for customers to comment on the videos

– Information about how to contact TD Canada Trust for help with credit
card debt, mortgage payments and bill payments

While customers have been able to comment on the TD Money Lounge on
Facebook for a couple of years, this is the first time the bank has ever
opened up its own site for comments.
“We’re pretty excited about that,” says Hockey. “Customers are going to
be able to share their thoughts about the videos and the stories our employees
are telling and we are eager to hear what they have to say.”