Federal government spending is 'entirely appropriate' to aid economic recovery: TD CEO
Toronto-Dominion Bank Chief Executive Officer Bharat Masrani said more help for ailing sectors of the Canadian economy may be warranted if the “unprecedented” COVID-19 crisis goes on for too long.
Masrani told BNN Bloomberg in an interview that while he doesn’t know when the right time would be for more sector-specific aid, policy-makers should already be thinking ahead if the economic crisis drags on.
“This crisis is for the ages,” Masrani said. “It’s going to require special programs; it’s going to require special approaches that may not have been tried out before.”
Masrani said current stimulus levels provided by the government are “entirely appropriate,” but that he’s still waiting to see how things play out as case numbers begin to creep higher in Canada.
“I think to date things have worked reasonably well,” he said. “If you look at the growth trajectory in Canada, how quickly the economy was able to come back to the extent it has, the jobs numbers are impressive. But we got to watch out: This is a health crisis and until we have the health issue behind us, it’s not going to be business as usual, and we will go through spikes.”
Provisions for loan losses at TD reached $2.19 billion in the fiscal third quarter, down from $3.22 billion in the prior quarter. Masrani said that he remains cautiously optimistic about the bank’s outlook and that TD in a better position than back in May.
As for TD's U.S. operations, Masrani said that while that country is going through a rough patch due to the pandemic, the company believes its American business is “terrific.”
“All crises are common in one respect: All of them, and this one too, shall end,” he said. “When that happens, the U.S. is a fantastic market … We’re really excited about our U.S. business.”