Toronto-Dominion Bank plans to hire more than 2,000 technology workers this year, more than six times the number added last year, pitting the lender against fintech firms in the war for talent.

The hires come as the bank works to become more digitally focused, according to a statement Wednesday, and follow the 300-plus technology roles added in 2021. Toronto-Dominion declined to say how much it’s planning to spend on the hires.

The pandemic accelerated efforts by the Toronto-based company to shift to an operating model that’s more tech-centric so innovations can be quickly introduced to staff and customers, said Greg Keeley, senior executive vice president for platforms and technology. That’s increased the need for workers skilled in cloud-computing, artificial intelligence and agile project-management -- and has put the bank in competition with tech giants, startups and fintechs for that talent, he said.

“We’ve recognized that, as the market evolves, as the expectations of our customers evolve, our capabilities need to evolve as well,” Keeley said in an interview.

The bank, which has operations across Canada and along the U.S. East Coast, is looking to add the workers throughout its geographic footprint, he said. The bank has partnerships with universities and organizations such as the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering and the Black Professionals in Tech Network to help with recruitment and ensure diversity in hiring, he said.

Toronto-Dominion also is working to train its current workers on the needed skills, and sees that emphasis on developing existing talent as part of its allure to recruits, Keeley said. He estimates that talent takes up about 30 per cent of his time, and expects his division’s leaders to allocate the same amount of their time to the effort as well.

“It’s a war on talent, but we think we have a differentiating model,” Keeley said. “We’re not going after just the traditional players, we’re going after the modern talent too.”

The bank said in a separate statement that it’s starting a new Equity, Diversity & Inclusion platform to ensure different perspectives and experiences are reflected in the development of its products and services.