More TD Canada Trust customers are accusing the bank of losing tens of thousands of dollars in Retirement Savings Plan contributions they deposited with the financial institution.
Two TD clients who spoke to CBC News say they made RSP contributions in the 1990s but that their money has since vanished. Their case comes to light after another case involving a TD customer who originally raised concerns last year and has now filed a lawsuit.
Bhuepndra Narsey, 64, and his wife Alina say they contributed about $10,000 to their RSPs through Canada Trust in 1994. It merged with TD in 2000.
They paid little attention to the RSP accounts after they left Canada in 1996 and moved to New Zealand where Bhupendra, an engineer, took a job, they said.
Last July, the soon-to-be retired pair contacted the bank and discovered their RSPs couldn’t be located.
“How can they just lose money? I mean, it’s our money and they just don’t know what happened,” Alina Narsey told CBC News.
“Banks are supposed to take care of our money and keep it until we want to withdraw it.”
TD denies any wrongdoing, saying the couple must have given the bank permission to transfer the RSPs in question to another financial institution more than 20 years ago.
TD says customers transferred RSPs, but doesn’t know where to
The Narseys showed CBC News correspondence from the office of the bank’s internal ombudsman informing them TD had transferred their RSPs — which they say should now be worth about $32,000 — to another financial institution.
The correspondence says the bank’s limited records show the transfers occurred in February and March 1995.
But TD no longer has records of where it sent the RSPs and was unable to provide documents showing the couple’s request to transfer the investments.
“Based on my review of the facts, it appears, TD does not have the specific details of where the RSPs were transferred to because TD does not retain records from 25 years ago,” according to the email to the Narseys from Rebecca Seaman, TD’s assistant ombudsman.
“TD does retain records for RSP accounts for seven years, in accordance with applicable provincial laws.”
Bhupendra Narsey says neither he nor his wife ever authorized TD to transfer their RSPs, which would have been necessary for the investments to be moved elsewhere.
“We have not cashed these, nor have we transferred them.They are still with Canada Trust,” he said.
The Narseys also have RSP accounts with Scotiabank and Bank of Montreal. Narsey says neither bank has records of receiving an RSP transfer from Canada Trust.
“That’s our money. That’s hard-earned cash,” his wife said.
CRA has no records of RSPs being cashed
The couple also showed CBC News correspondence from the Canada Revenue Agency indicating it has no records of the RRSPs in question being cashed or taxed.
Financial institutions in Canada are obligated to report to the agency whenever a customer cashes an RRSP because the recipient is required to pay federal taxes on the funds.
The couple provided CBC News with copies of the receipts Canada Trust gave them in 1994, when the contributions were made, along with their corresponding tax returns documenting the contributions.
Together they deposited a total of $9,219.00.
In a statement to CBC News, Fiona Hirst, TD’s senior manager of corporate and public affairs, said the Narseys’ RSP accounts were closed 26 years ago.
“We take customer concerns very seriously. After completing a thorough investigation with updated information, we were able to locate the statements indicating that the accounts were closed and funds transferred out in 1995,” she wrote to CBC News.
“The annual statements showing the transfers would have been mailed to Mr. and Mrs. Narsey in early 1996, before they moved overseas.”
The Narseys say they never received any such statements.
Unhappy with TD’s findings, they escalated their complaint to ADR Chambers Banking Ombuds Office, or ADRBO.
It’s a regulated, bank-funded private company that mediates complaints filed by customers of its member banks, including TD, Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada, National Bank of Canada and Digital Commerce Bank.
ADRBO declined to investigate citing, in part, the lack of bank records.
It also blamed the Narseys for not keeping better tabs on their investments.
“We note that you did not monitor your RRSPs for 26 years; we cannot find the bank liable to pay you the amount of these RRSPs as (a) you did not meet your obligations to monitor and keep track of your own accounts and (b) the bank does not retain records for 26 years,” ADRBOs’ ombudsman officer Kayla Albin told the couple in a letter on April 27.
Bhupendra Narsey concedes he could have kept closer watch over his TD RSPs. He assumed, however, that they were safe at a reputable Canadian banking institution.
Although the Narseys say the money won’t make or break the couple’s retirement, they do want to know where it went.
“The RRSPs are not supposed to be cashed in until you’re 65, that’s my knowledge on it. The TD bank should have kept those records until then,” Bhupendra Narsey said.
TD client sues bank over missing RSPs
Bob Grossman has a similar story. He is now suing TD Canada Trust hoping to find out where his RSPs went.
He filed a lawsuit in March claiming the bank lost his retirement money currently worth $104,622.37.
Grossman, a 35-year customer of Canada Trust, and then TD, also wants $50,000 in punitive damages.
The lawsuit, which claims breach of trust, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, hasn’t been tested in court.
Grossman declined an interview request regarding the lawsuit, but first approached CBC News about the situation last year.
CBC News reviewed bank and tax documents showing Grossman contributed $37,956.64 to his Canada Trust RSP in 1996. In 2019, as he approached retirement, he inquired about his RSP only to be told it was gone.
“The bank owed a trust duty to Bob to ensure Bob was kept aware of the status of his investments and failed to do so,” according to Grossman’s statement of claim.
Grossman concedes he didn’t regularly check on the status of his RSP, but “was entitled to believe his investments were safe,” according to the lawsuit.
“In not providing the funds to Bob in his RSP, the bank will have unjustly enriched from Bob’s hard work and funds.”
In its statement of defence, TD denies losing Grossman’s money. The bank claims the money was withdrawn on June 29, 2000.
“After his withdrawal, the RSP was closed,” according to TD.
“TD denies that [Grossman] has suffered any of the damages alleged,” the court documents say.
Grossman claims he never withdrew the funds and the CRA has never taxed him on the withdrawal.
No independent watchdog
Duff Conacher, cofounder of accountability group Democracy Watch, says bank clients should check the status of their investments at least once a year.
But he also questions TD’s ability to find only certain records relating to the disputed RSPs.
“For the bank to say ‘We know we transferred it, but we don’t have a record of where it is raises the question of how they know they transferred it. If they have a record of that, they should also have a record of where they transferred this money to,” he told CBC News.
Conacher says most of Canada’s big banks are avoiding accountability by essentially policing themselves when it comes to consumer complaints.
In 2015, the federal government allowed some banks to opt out of a publicly funded, independent dispute resolution system and use the ADRBO, which is funded by several banks, including TD.
“Consumers need an independent watchdog to go to that is not chosen by the banks and and obviously not chosen by the consumer themselves, and that person needs to be there in the middle who’s with an independent look at every situation,” Conacher said.
New Bank of America Report Says Digital Currencies ‘Could Boost Economic Growth’ in Developing Countries – Fintech Bitcoin News
New Bank of America Report Says Digital Currencies ‘Could Boost Economic Growth’ in Developing Countries
A new Bank of America (BOA) research study has found that both central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and private digital currencies hold “a lot of potential” for increasing financial inclusion in developing countries. In the report, the bank also argues that such “digital currencies could reduce transaction costs and allow more economic activities in emerging market economies.”
Digital Currencies and Financial Inclusion
Still, the study findings show that while digital currencies are likely to “boost economic growth” in developing countries, their adoption will carry some risk. In addition, the study also finds that the rise of digital currencies “could lead to inflation and dollarization.”
Meanwhile, a separate report quotes David Hauner, the BOA’s head of emerging market cross-asset strategy and economics for EMEA, explaining why digital currencies could be pivotal in emerging market countries where more than 50% of adults lack a bank account.
“Digital currencies have the potential to address many practical constraints on financial services in poor countries,” said Hauner.
The report also lists the reduction of cross-border payment costs as well as the reduction of corruption and other illegal activities as some of the constraints that can be addressed by digital currencies.
Risks to Physical Currency
The BOA research study found that the rise of digital currencies could potentially “undermine a country’s physical currency,” however. Expanding on these findings, Hauner stated:
Easier access to alternative digital currencies is also likely to increase the volatility of domestic money supply and the exchange rate. Easier access to alternatives also raises the risks of rapid shifts of liquidity out of (or into) the currency and the banks which can magnify macro volatility in already less stable countries. Higher macro volatility would then reduce the effectiveness of policies and undermine the long-term rate of growth.
Despite these risks, Hauner suggests that more central banks are “likely to issue a general purpose CBDC in the next three years.” As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, several countries — including a few in Africa — are currently at different stages of developing or piloting their digital currencies. Several more countries are likely to join the race as more studies show that digital currency benefits outweigh the risks.
What are your thoughts on the latest BOA research report on digital currencies? You can share your views in the comments section below.
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In Case You Missed It
Why a HELOC might be right for you | Core Bank Personal
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a good way to utilize the equity you have in your home to make a large purchase that otherwise is difficult to save up for. A credit limit will be established based on your home’s current valuation. With a HELOC you not only get great flexibility by being able to access your money whenever you need it, but you also only pay interest on how much you actually use.
Let’s run through a few scenarios where taking out a HELOC would make sense.
One of the most popular reasons homeowners take out a HELOC is to fund renovation projects. Renovations can be a great use of money since they not only make your house more enjoyable to live in, they also generally increase your home’s value.
Tired of paying a high-interest rate on your debt? You’re not alone. Using a HELOC to consolidate other forms of debt is a popular choice among homeowners. Credit card debt, for example, has a much higher interest rate than a HELOC would. The key to using this method of debt reduction is to plan ahead and make sure you know how you’ll pay off the loan.
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again – having an emergency fund is always a good idea. Your home’s equity can be that emergency fund for you. If you find yourself faced with a medical emergency, job loss, or any other unexpected emergency, know that your equity is there to help.
Looking to further your education? A HELOC might be a good alternative to student loans since they tend to offer a lower interest rate. Another benefit to a HELOC is that you may have more money available to you.
Federal student loans have borrowing limits which can make it hard to pay for an education if you still have a balance due even after utilizing other forms of aid, such as financial ad and scholarships.
Traveling is always fun, but paying for it is another story. While you can fund some trips with your everyday budget, some trips require a little more money. Using your HELOC can be a lifesaver when it comes to making your dream vacation a reality. No need to pull out the credit card or overextend your budget.
Equity is one of the many benefits of homeownership and can play a big role in helping you achieve financial wellness. Learn how to make the most of your home today
De-Banking! Former GOP Candidate Witzke Says Wells Fargo Shut Down Her Account: Report
First liberal corporations attacked conservative speech, but now they are destabilizing the finances of those they disagree with, as former Senate candidate Lauren Witzke has reportedly discovered.
American bank Wells Fargo has reportedly shut down the bank account of Lauren Witzke, a 2020 Delaware Senate GOP candidate and outspoken activist. An account purporting to represent Witzke claimed via Telegram that her bank account had been shut down, leaving her penniless in Florida: “Wells Fargo has shut down my bank account, taking all of my money and leaving me with a zero balance.” The Witzke account torched Wells Fargo for leaving her in the lurch and causing her to rely on the charity of her friends:
“When I called Wells Fargo told me that it was a ‘business decision’ and that they have the right to close my account at any time. Had I not been surrounded by friends in Florida, I would be completely stranded. Use this as a warning and get your money out of Wells Fargo if you are a conservative. This is so evil.”
Wells Fargo responded to inquiry from MRC Free Speech America by denying any political motivations:
“Wells Fargo does not consider political views or affiliations in making account decisions. An account may be closed for a number of reasons based on individual facts and circumstances. While we cannot discuss customer accounts because they involve confidential customer information, we can report that we have reviewed this situation, gave ample notice of our decision and it was handled appropriately.”
Conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin wrote in a commentary on CNSNews that Witzke’s “entire life savings of roughly $15,500 had been transferred to ‘loss prevention.’” Malkin further asserted that “[Witske] would be barred from retrieving her funds at any branch office and that they would ‘mail a check.’”
Malkin reportedly heard from Witzke directly, the former candidate stating, “The current weaponization of corporations and banks against conservatives and Christians is terrifying.” Witzke reportedly recounted how sudden her ousting was from Wells Fargo:
“I have banked with Wells Fargo for years, using it as savings when I was working in ministry. Only when I was given a platform to share my Christian views on the national stage did Wells Fargo decide to shut down my account. The Evil Oligarchs at Wells Fargo left me, a young woman, with a balance of zero dollars, stranded, and a thousand miles away from my home with no explanation…Christians and Conservatives, get your money out of Wells Fargo, NOW!”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your local representative and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form and help us hold Big Tech accountable.
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