compensation communication / MicroStockHub

Toronto-Dominion Bank’s TD Wealth Financial Planning division has increased pay for new planners in a bid to attract and retain more branch-based talent.

Effective Aug. 1, TD “made a positive change to our base-salary draw for new financial planners to support their onboarding and the initial four years [of] building their practice,” said David Terry, head of TD Wealth Financial Planning, in an email.

TD declined to share the magnitude of the increase, but a spokesperson said the bank increased base salary for planners in their first and second years “as they get their practice established, and we have a higher base salary draw if they have their CFP.”

The bank confirmed that the Aug. 1 increase is separate from the 3% pay increase it announced earlier this year. Commissioned professionals such as TD’s financial planners were not eligible for that increase, a spokesperson said.

While TD and several other banks raised pay for entry-level staff this year in the face of rising living costs, pandemic pressures and people’s willingness to hunt for more competitive workplaces, the remaining Big Six didn’t indicate there would be increases to base pay for new advisors and planners specifically.

Michael Walker, vice-president and head, mutual funds distribution and RBC Financial Planning, said in an email that no material changes to in-branch financial planning compensation have been made for 2022. A mid-year 3% increase to base salary for certain Royal Bank of Canada employees didn’t apply to all planners, and nor was it considered material, he said.

Walker said RBC’s planners continue to be paid based on their skill and experience, calling their base and variable components “competitive” and “in line with the marketplace.”

A spokesperson for National Bank of Canada said the bank has made inflation-based increases and minor adjustments to “the design of incentive compensation,” but those changes “did not modify the targeted compensation or range of payout opportunities,” the bank said in an email.

CIBC’s Imperial Service division last adjusted branch advisor pay in 2021, and a spokesperson said the bank’s “pay philosophy” did not change in 2022. “We continue to attract and retain strong talent in 2022,” said Peter Lee, executive vice-president of banking centres, in an email.

A spokesperson for Bank of Montreal said the pay structure for branch advisors had not changed recently, but that “we continue to focus on paying for performance with both a focus on growing and retaining long-term investment portfolio [assets under management].”

Bank of Nova Scotia didn’t say whether its pay structure had recently changed for branch advisors, citing only its June 20 move to increase base salary for 50% of its employees on top of regular annual reviews. Three years ago, the bank began allowing branch advisors to take courses to enhance their skills and “move forward in their career, which also includes a salary increase,” a spokesperson told Investment Executive last year.

Compensation aside, banks said they hope to attract new advisors by offering enhanced support and training.

In a June interview, Terry said TD was hiring more planners “to continue to grow market share through additional [and] diverse talent in the financial planning business.” Planners at TD will also see more investment into practice management and an increase in wealth planning support staff.

RBC Financial Planning division also wants to boost its wealth management services. Walker told Investment Executive in June that a pilot is underway to “bring additional wealth management services capabilities to some of our clients in financial planning; things like will and estate* consulting and other capabilities,” based on clients’ evolving needs.

Lee said in a June interview that CIBC is increasing training support over the next year to ensure advisors gain “higher confidence around the delivery of advice and proficiency on tools.”

*A previous version of this story mentioned that the RBC Financial Planning division pilot project included real estate consulting. RBC Wealth Management does not provide real estate consulting.

This story has been updated to include a statement from Bank of Montreal that was provided after publication.