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In July, Toronto-Dominion Bank will raise base pay by 3 per cent for employees below its executive ranks, as well as associate vice-presidents and district vice-presidents, which are junior executive roles, according to an internal memo.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Toronto-Dominion Bank TD-T is giving a 3-per-cent pay raise to most of its non-executive employees and $1,500 cash bonuses to some other staff amid rising inflation and fierce competition for talent as economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July, TD will raise base pay by 3 per cent for employees below its executive ranks, as well as associate vice-presidents and district vice-presidents, which are junior executive roles, according to an internal memo from chief executive officer Bharat Masrani. That will be in addition to any year-end raises the bank would normally hand out in its typical compensation cycle.

Staff who are paid commission or commission-like payments, as well as those at the director level or below who earn performance-based bonus pay within subsidiaries TD Securities and TD Asset Management, will instead receive a one-time $1,500 cash bonus, paid in their local currency.

TD Bank to pay non-executive employees a COVID-19 pandemic-related bonus of five shares each

In total, the pay increases and cash bonuses that TD is handing out will benefit a large majority of the bank’s staff. They will be issued at a time when inflation is outpacing wage gains for two-thirds of Canadians, by some estimates, and there is huge competition for talent, especially in specialized technology roles. Banks’ expenses are also rising, driven in part by higher performance-based pay and spending to attract and retain talent. TD’s costs rose 3 per cent in the first fiscal quarter to nearly $6-billion, compared with a year earlier.

Canada’s largest banks have been staffing up in the early half of 2022, with full-time equivalent positions up 4.3 year-over-year.

In the staff memo, Mr. Masrani said the pay raises and bonuses are intended to recognize staff for their work in challenging circumstances during the pandemic, to support them as they manage transitions in home and working routines in the coming months, “and respond to a changing environment.”

Spokesperson Toni-Lynn Raponi said in an e-mail the pay increases are “not in response to employee retention challenges.”

TD and rival banks have periodically handed out one-time bonuses through the pandemic in recognition of the added strain COVID-19 has placed on most employees’ working lives. In October, TD gave all non-executive employees shares in the bank worth about $449 at the time they were awarded, on top of previous $500 cash bonuses. But the pay increases taking effect in July represent a more permanent bump to TD salaries across the board.

Last week, TD told employees in a separate memo that the bank expects those who are still working largely remotely will return to offices or begin new hybrid working arrangements by June, but can start to return voluntarily later this month.

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