TD stops free banking for new seniors

TD Canada Trust will charge new senior citizens for banking services it used to offer for free, leading some to worry that a precedent is being set for how businesses will deal with a growing segment of the population.

People who are already over 60 will continue to get free services, but new seniors will only get a 25 per cent discount on various monthly packages of services.

That decision came after the company looked at the cost of offering the services to a growing number of baby boomers.

"As with any business, I would say we have to look at the evolving boomer demographic," said TD spokeswoman Barbara Timmins. "We have to think about our long-term needs as well, for profitability as a business."

Personal finance adviser Stephanie Holmes-Winton, who runs Money Finder, a financial planning company, sees a trend emerging.

"As our population booms, some of these once-inexpensive-to-the-bottom-line discounts might become more costly," she said. And in some cases, seniors do take a lot of time to serve.

"I do notice that seniors are at the teller much longer," said Holmes-Winton. "They are having a conversation. So for a senior, if that is social and they are taking up more time, that is a more expensive asset than, say, the ATM in the entryway."

But while some banks and other businesses are re-evaluating seniors discounts, in Nova Scotia both Lawtons drug stores and Shoppers Drug Mart say that the older age group makes up some of their best customers, and their seniors discounts will continue.

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