TD CEO warns pandemic recovery “won’t always be smooth” after quarterly results

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Canada’s economy is starting to rebound after the worst downturn in the COVID-19 pandemic, but the CEO of TD Bank Group warns that problems could still loom.“The road to recovery will not always be easy,” Bharat Masrani told financial analysts on a conference call Thursday.

“The longer-term outlook is still uncertain and caution is in order. ”

Masrani’s comments come as his bank announced its third-quarter profit fell 30% from a year ago.

The bank earned $ 2.25 billion or $ 1.21 per diluted share for the quarter ended July 31, down from profit of $ 3.25 billion or $ 1.74 per diluted share a year ago. year.

Profits improved from the second quarter, when the bank reported a profit of $ 1.5 billion, driven by volume growth, moderation in credit provisions and strong wealth and income from large.

“TD has entered this crisis from a position of strength and through prudent financial and risk management practices we remain well capitalized with a high quality balance sheet and strong liquidity,” said Masrani.

Revenue totaled $ 10.67 billion, compared to $ 10.5 billion.

On an adjusted basis, TD said it earned $ 1.25 per diluted share for the quarter, down from $ 1.79 a year ago.

Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of $ 1.18 per share, according to financial market data firm Refinitiv.

“Measures cannot be sustainable,” says CEO

The bank has been helped by higher insurance and wealth management revenues, but hampered by its continued efforts to protect itself from bad debts.

Provisions for credit losses reached $ 2.19 billion, up from $ 655 million a year ago, but down from $ 3.22 billion in the second quarter.

While TD was able to withdraw the amount of money it set aside for such provisions and saw a significant drop in customer loan deferral requests, Masrani pointed out that the bank was not yet clear.

The next quarter could bring a second wave of COVID-19 just as the federal government ends Canada’s emergency response benefit and makes the transition of those facing difficulties to a new EI program .

Masrani said that “unprecedented actions” by the bank, government, regulators, central banks and industry in general have averted greater problems, but noted that these measures “cannot be sustained indefinitely. “.

“As a bank and as a society, we have to remain cautious, but also flexible and ready to adapt in real time as the situation evolves on the ground,” he said.

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