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Bank Rant – TD Wrongfully Holding Cheques

28 December 2011

Last week Friday was my family’s annual Christmas party and it so happened that I needed to run into the bank and drop in my pay cheque. As with anyone dropping off a cheque, it is a routine task, walk in, talk to a teller and deposit the cheque into your account.

I was prepared to spend at the very most, 5 minutes in the branch. However, the fact is I spent almost 30 minutes at my local TD branch depositing a cheque. It was quite frustrating considering the fact that I have been depositing cheque from my job for almost 2 years; in fact it has been at least 1 – 1.5 years since I have been told that my cheque will need to be held.

You can imagine my frustration, with the bank’s policy of a cheque being held 5 business days, I was told that my funds would be locked until January 5th 2012 (due to the many holidays at the end of the month).

I was completely annoyed because as you may already know, a friend of mine faced this kind of trouble when TD wrongfully held his cheques. He did his homework, deposited cheques on a regular basis, only to face a hold after several months.

Why was TD holding my cheque?

For the past few months, the cheques I have been depositing have varied, due to the amount of hours I was able to get. TD was still able to release my funds immediately, however that day, for some reason they were being difficult.

I was then told that even if you create a good history of depositing cheques, it may not help you when the time comes to deposit a larger amount.

I understood this, and explained that, however the fact was they have never had an issue releasing my cheques, regardless of the amount and that they were coming from the same source for over 2 years. Within those 2 years, not a single cheque bounced.

Now I was in no mood to argue, I mean, it is the holidays, so I asked to speak to someone concerning the matter. After dealing with a very rude manager, who argued with me over my cheque and repeated the following statement:

Sir, you are receiving $1000 from your cheque, you would only be receiving $200 if you were to deposit through an ATM

Now I was a bit confused why she would repeat this statement to me so many times; I am in no way deaf, and acknowledged her statement. I asked a friend of mine who works for a bank and it turns out that tellers repeat the statement to make it clear to the client that they are getting more than enough at the moment, and if they were to deposit through the ATM they would only get $200.

When I found this out I was even more frustrated. In fact, I was at home when I found this out, and decided that it was worth my time to drive back, get back my cheque and open a new bank account that would not treat me like an idiot.

After a good night with family and friends, I calmed down and decided to go to another branch, and deposit the cheque once again. You know what? The cheque went in my account without any hassle, took me barely 5 minutes to finish my banking.

Truthfully, I am still on the verge of opening a new account with another bank, I do not see why I should have so much trouble depositing a cheque with a bank I have built a solid relationship with.

For a bank that is ranked with the highest customer satisfaction survey, this particular TD branch was terrible, and it make me sad to be on the receiving end of this kind of customer service.

I wanted to get this story off my before entering the New Year, if you have an experience you want to share, comment below or email me at



About the Author


My favorite weapon of choice is the samurai sword. I use it to cut my chicken during dinner, cut my hair and periodically carve my name into stone when I am bored. I love meditating on top of a 15ft high pole and eating those sushi’s with smoked salmon on top. I love everything there is about Canada and everything financially related to Canadians. I write deily posts from Canadian Banks to Credit Card information.

Comments (21 )

Cerapus Wrote:

As an employee with a financial institution, I can tell you that TD was well within their rights and were therefore not “wrongfully” holding your cheques. However, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t being stupid about it. I have never had a single dealing with TD that wasn’t completely screwed up. The last time I even wrote a letter to the President. The end result after 2 months of investigation was essentially, “sorry we screwed up… sorry for your luck”.

The only advice I can give you is to deposit your cheques at the same branch all the time and try to get to know the tellers. If they know you and know you consistently deposit the same cheques, they usually won’t hold funds unless you’re making an unusual deposit.

Chris Wrote:

I can totally empathize with what you went through. I used to be a branch manager with one of the big 5 banks, and this was a very routine problem we’d encounter – clients go to a branch to deposit their cheque, bank decides arbitrarily to hold the funds despite an excellent history. Usually the excuse is “computer says no”. I’d meet with clients on a regular basis who would go to one branch and have this problem, then come to my branch where I’d give them the client service they deserved.

All branches of every bank have the discretionary decision-making power to hold or release as much as they’d like, which is why I would always coach staff who would escalate a client concern to me around cheque holds, especially when taking all of a client’s history into consideration, it should not be a problem.

I really hope you take the time to escalate this matter to TD’s customer service office or whatever the escalation point is. If TD really is serious about keeping their #1 customer service position, they can’t afford to have front line staff treating customers as you were.

S Emerson Wrote:

I had a similar experience with TD at Plaza 5000 in Burnaby. Years of depositing cheques from my Mom and suddenly one was going to be held.

I did manage to talk the teller into not holding the funds.

Dealing with TD and the former Canada Trust since the 80s evidently doesn’t matter when it comes to customer service and respect for long time customers.

TD_Canada Wrote:

Hi there, it’s Elizabeth from TD. We can see you’re frustrated, and would like to learn more about your experience. Please email us the details at with attention to Social Media, and we are happy to chat and pass your feedback on. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, ^ET

AMQ Wrote:

Post the branch address, that will teach them a lesson, or email me the branch address.

Ben Wrote:

I’m starting to trust banks less and less these days. One bank closed my account and took all my money. About $10,000. I’m still trying to get it back. The bank is ANZ in australia where I did my banking while I was there doing my Masters.

Bank Guru Wrote:

That won’t be happening…

AMQ Wrote:

Why not? Have to make sure this doesn’t happen again…

Bank Guru Wrote:

I completely trust banks, even TD. Your account would have been closed for several reasons, I have listed a few possible ‘entertaining’ ones below:
1. You ran a drug cartel
2. The money was confiscated by the Ausie Gov’t
3. You told the bank to cancel the account and donate the money to charity but then had seller’s remorse.

Bank Guru Wrote:

Very well stated.

Bank Guru Wrote:

I strongly believe banks are trying to provide the highest customer service for clients. They have to because every other bank is doing it. Though, like any service orientated business that deals with consumers. You will have some employees upset a consumer time to time, part of the industry.

From a banking business perspective it comes down to always one word, ‘risk’. The branch doesn’t want to have a bounced check and probably were having a recent run of bounced checks. It looks bad at quarterly reviews.

In the end it comes down to developing relationships with your CSR’s. Which is why banks, including TD. Invest heavily in CSR training.

Chris Wrote:

Yep, absolutely true. In my experience, the biggest problem are the “lifers” – tellers who started with the bank many moons ago, back when providing excellent client service was not a top priority. Back then banks could afford to rest on their laurels. They are stale and need to be shuttled to other positions where their skills could be better used – usually in a non-client facing role.

Sadly, banks are big ships and need time to change course. Also corporate HR departments are scared to death of potential lawsuits.

Yatti420 Wrote:

I’ve never had TD cheques held at the teller when they are from my parents etc.. Although I have rarely been into a branch in the past 5-6 years or so.. I’ve been keeping an eye on TD rates as the minimums seemed to have increased awhile back.. Most I deposit through ATM are held.. I’ve never really checked it this applied to small amounts..

Our Hold Funds Policy
When you deposit a cheque to your personal deposit account, either at a branch or through the Green Machine
ATM, you may not be able to access the full amount of the
funds from that deposit immediately, if that deposit is subject to a “hold”. For any deposits made through the Green Machine ATM that are subject to a hold, the “hold period”
will commence on the first business day after the deposit is made. For full details on our hold funds policy, please ask at any TD Canada Trust branch. Your access to those
funds, or a portion of them, will be restricted. You will not be able to withdraw money from those funds being held, and we will not pay any of your cheques or pre-authorized
debits from those funds until the end of the hold period.
Hold funds decisions will be different for each customer. We will take into account factors such as the length of time you have dealt with TD Canada Trust and the amount of
funds already in your account. The decision will also vary depending on the institution on which the cheque has been drawn, as well as the amount and the issuer of the cheque.
Deposits subject to a hold will be held for the following number of business days:
Minimum Maximum
·Cheques drawn on TD Canada Trust 3 6
·Cheques drawn on another Canadian financial institution – 5 7
unknown or unencoded 7 14
·Cheques drawn on a U.S. institution* 15 30
·Cheques drawn on other foreign financial institutions* 22 40
When you enroll in a direct deposit program, no hold is placed on the money deposited because it is credited directly to your account.
* These hold periods are estimates and apply where we have credited the funds to your account. We may extend such hold periods if payment for the cheque has not been
received by us from the U.S. or foreign financial institution within that initial maximum hold period. Some cheques may be sent on “collection” – this means that the funds will
be credited to your account only if and when the cheque clears.

Sensei Wrote:

I see where you are coming from, but from my perspective, I have built a solid relationship with them, and provided funds from the same account time and time again.

Sensei Wrote:

Interesting point, but in my case, the problem was being handled by what seemed to be a young manager. In this case, customer service is a top priority but I was not shown any.

Sensei Wrote:

Hi Elizabeth,

I am frustrated, but that is life I guess. I found it interesting that one branch (the branch I frequently visit) would want to put the cheque on hold, while the other branch (which is one I rarely visit) would approve it immediately.

TD_Canada Wrote:

We understand your concern, and apologize for the inconvenience you experienced. We’d like to assure you that this is a process improvement that we’re reviewing in 2012. We welcome you to share your additional comments with us at (to the attention of Social Media), so that we can review and pass your feedback on. Thanks again, ^ET

Bank Guru Wrote:

Update: TD resolved the issue in 2 days.

jim Wrote:

good luck all of you, with your banking issues, holds, rates, fees, etc. all of these things are determined by programs and algorithms, measuring risk. you can’t begin to comprehend the complexity of these institutions, and how and where these decisions are made, er, programmed. the masters instill fear of loss into us, er, them to such a degree, that to say no to you, and hide behind policy, is much easier than to be singled out as the one who made the dreaded mistake. try and get your head around how many times a teller has the opportunity of getting something wrong in a day, and how closely it’s monitored. i bet your job ain’t that tough. TD, BMO, RBC, whatever, all great organisations, truly, also all monolith monster machines, driven by command and control structures from on high. this ain’t cynicism Dorothy, this is the way it is. deal with it, because you can’t get around it.

Yatti420 Wrote:

Me 2.. I barely get cheques of any value.. I don’t know if they ever review customer’s hold policies or how it’s setup.. It would be nice if it automatically stops after a certain time frame etc..

Sensei Wrote:

I have been told that there is a time frame; deposit cheques regularly and after a while the hold will be gone. For some reason it did not happen for me despite over a year and a half of not having a cheque held.

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