A GTA woman says she was turned away from two TD Bank branches because she works in healthcare.
Lucy says employees at two branches told her she wasn’t allowed inside because she works at a clinic (CityNews has withheld her name as she wishes to remain anonymous).
“It was disappointing because it was healthcare workers wouldn’t be allowed in the branch anymore,” says Lucy. “Everywhere else they’re trying to take the stress off of healthcare workers and making exceptions and accommodations for them. Whereas here, I felt the opposite.”
The healthcare worker wore a mask and gloves during her visit. At the second location, she says she was allowed inside but told, due to a new policy, that would no longer be the case.
She adds that security had been posted outside the branch, asking customers if they’re healthcare workers.
“I was trying to then figure out how am I going to get banking done, I guess my question to them was why,” she said. “They said it’s a new policy, we just found out about it. They didn’t have that much information at that time.”
Lucy says she requires in-person banking because she makes large deposits. She says these types of deposits can’t be done online because there will be a hold on the funds.
TD Bank says she shouldn’t have been denied entry. CityNews asked TD Bank if all customers are questioned prior to entering the branches. A spokesperson said they’ve established physical distancing standards based on public health guidelines. The spokesperson also said they are posting signs and asking customers not to enter the premises if they have symptoms of COVID19, have been exposed to the virus, or asked to self isolate due to travel.
“If a customer requires in-person assistance and is not able to enter for these reasons, we are helping them one on one, by providing special accommodations to manage their unique circumstances,” said Carla Hindman, TD Bank spokesperson. “We apologize that this did not happen for a customer who contacted CityNews, and we would be pleased to assist them and reinforce our policy with the branch team.”
The banking firm also adds that it’s been providing additional services to better accommodate healthcare providers and seniors over the age of 75, including giving them priority phone access.
Lucy says she wasn’t offered any alternatives until Tuesday after CityNews reached out to the bank. That’s also when she was welcomed inside the branch to do her banking, and it was a much better experience, she says.
The Ontario Medical Association is calling for unity during these times, and to better accommodate healthcare workers.
“We have not confirmed this practice with banks directly, but generally the Ontario Medical Association does not condone this type of action by any business,” a spokesperson said. “Ontario’s doctors are working hard to improve patient outcomes in dangerous and difficult conditions during this challenging time.”
FULL TD BANK STATEMENT
“To help curb the spread of COVID-19 and protect our frontline colleagues and other customers, we are asking all customers to avoid coming to the branch unless it is for urgent matters that require an in-person visit. Most banking can be completed online, over the phone or at an ATM, and we are helping customers identify how they can get their banking done outside of branches.
All Canadians owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our healthcare workers and no group is excluded from entering our branches. We have physical distancing standards, based on public health guidelines, including signs, posted and questions that ask customers not to enter if they have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or have been asked to self-isolate due to travel.
If a customer requires in-person assistance and is not able to enter for these reasons, we are helping them one on one, by providing special accommodations to manage their unique circumstances. We apologize that this did not happen for a customer who contacted CityNews, and we would be pleased to assist them and reinforce our policy with the branch team.
Recognizing the importance of serving healthcare professionals, we have created additional services to support them, including priority phone channel access, which puts healthcare workers and customers over 75 who call into our phone channel at the front of the line to get assistance. Additionally, in Toronto, we have launched a healthcare hub to serve calls exclusively from healthcare workers.”
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