TD Bank’s investment arm overcharges mutual fund clients

The OSC reaches tentative deal with three investment subsidiaries of TD Bank related to “self-reported” violations involving mutual fund fees charged to clients spanning 14 years.

The securities regulator is expected to meet November 13 to decide whether it should approve the tentative deal that’s been reached by its staff with TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel Inc., investment advisor TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. and TD Investment Services Inc., which sells mutual funds.

The violations include miscalculating client fees leading to higher charges as well as neglecting to let some clients know they were eligible to invest in certain funds charging lower MERs. The OSC alleges that the trio of companies “failed to establish, maintain and apply procedures to establish controls and supervision.

The bank is providing compensation to clients affected by these incidents and is working diligently to ensure these kinds of situations don’t repeat themselves. In a statement to the Toronto Star it said, “TD Wealth has resources in place to be available to answer client questions and is reaching out to impacted clients to ensure they understand that the issue has been corrected and that they will be compensated for the additional fees they have paid.”

Clearly embarrassed by this long-standing situation, TD is obviously working hard to fix this mess, something that never should have happened in the first place given the bank’s resources.

In an interesting side note, a blog post from the website Solving the Money Puzzle appeared a year ago September that calls out TD Waterhouse for overcharging on brokerage fees. While the post’s not related to the situation before the OSC, it does suggest the birds have come home to roost.

The moral of the story? Never assume your financial situation is being handled appropriately.