TD settles fee overcharge case with OSC, pays more than $13.5M to clients

TORONTO – TD Bank (TSX:TD) subsidiaries have agreed to pay more than $13.5 million to clients whose accounts were charged excess fees, in some cases dating back more than a decade.

Under a “no contest” settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission approved Thursday, the TD subsidiaries have also agreed to pay $600,000 to fund investor education programs and $50,000 toward the costs of the investigation.

The settlement followed allegations of inadequate controls and supervision at TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel Inc., TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. and TD Investment Services Inc. that “were not detected or corrected in a timely manner.”

TD self-reported four instances where clients were overcharged occurring over several periods between 2000 and 2014.

The bank has said it has started to notify clients and the payment of compensation is already underway.

In its announcement Thursday, the provincial regulator noted that after self reporting TD “provided prompt, detailed and candid co-operation” with OSC staff, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.

Still, registrants are required to have “robust and effective compliance systems in place and to deal fairly with clients with regard to fees,” said Tom Atkinson, the OSC’s director of Enforcement.

“A clear message from today’s settlement is that we expect registrants to establish and maintain robust and effective systems to ensure compliance with securities law, including the requirement to deal fairly with clients with regard to fees,” Atkinson added.