By John Tilak and Mike Stone
TORONTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank has begun laying off staff in Canada and the United States as part of a company-wide initiative to cut costs, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
TD, Canada’s biggest lender by assets, started the process by hiring Boston Consulting Group to examine ways to drive efficiencies, the sources said.
Following the review, TD informed employees of the job cuts last week and this week, with a further wave of job losses expected next week, they added.
The cuts are in both its major divisions, retail and wholesale, and include investment banking and support staff, the sources said.
TD spokesman David Morelli declined to comment on the news,
while Boston Consulting Group was not immediately reachable for comment.
One of the sources said the bank was laying off several hundred employees stretching all the way to heads of departments. About half of TD's municipal bond desk in New York was also being laid off, the second source said.
Faced with a sluggish domestic economy and slowing loan growth, Canadian banks have been aggressively looking for ways to cut expenses. The cost cutting comes about a year after Bharat Masrani was named chief executive of the Canadian lender.
In a conference call with analysts in August, Masrani said a recent restructuring charge reflected the first phase of a bank-wide focus on reducing costs and a second and final phase was expect to be mostly completed by the end of the year.
TD, whose rivals include Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, has successfully expanded into the United States, where it is one of the 10 biggest banks. Last month, Masrani told Reuters he was looking to expand the lender's U.S. presence through acquisitions.
(With additional reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Michael Perry)