Profits in a Pandemic | Unpublished

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Unpublished Opinions

Ed Hand's picture
Manotick, Ontario
About the author

Long time interest in city building and municipal politics, I have covered a lot of it in my 30 years in the media.  It's time to bring a bit of common sense to the table when it comes to running our city and delivering services. I am the host of the Unpublished.Cafe podcast. 

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Profits in a Pandemic

April 20, 2021

It seems everyone has their hand out.

We’re more than a year into the pandemic and Covid has exposed some ugly truths about our society. Wealth inequality, racism, lack of employment. You might think there is a “We’re all in this together” chant. Sadly No. While small businesses have been laid to waste by stay at home orders, reduced capacity, if any at all and of course, a drastic decline in revenue, not everyone felt the pain.

As these businesses struggled to survive, Costco and Walmart enjoyed almost unrivalled success. And how could you not when your entire inventory is available opposed to small stores only permitted to sell “essential “ services (Anyone see the irony in both being American enterprises?). Of course, Amazon has blossomed even further as Canadians shop more online. Remember, these are the places that are fuelling the increase in Covid cases as they’ve been deemed essential and don’t have as strict constraints on mobility in the workplace.

But I have to say, one of the most egregious example of taking advantage of people in a pandemic, belongs to TD Bank. Yes, that Canadian bastion of profits, TD Bank. You see, things aren’t so rosy in “ the big green chair”. It can’t be or else why would it decide to hike fees and limits? Transaction fees are the bane of Canadians and for many keeping a monthly minimum balance can save on them. Who doesn’t like to save?

In an effort to keep the balance sheet black, TD is not only hiking those dreaded fees by more than 60%, it is increasing the monthly minimum required in your account from $2 000 to $5 000. More than a 100 percent increase! This is the same entity that reported a $5.1 billion profit in fourth quarter 2020 earnings, which were up 80 % from the same quarter a year ago.

I guess an 80 percent increase in earnings just isn’t enough in a pandemic, so now it’s time to stick out it’s hand. I wonder if consumers will bite.