Systems integration woes plague TD Bank

Problems related to a botched computer integration effort have affected numerous customers of TD Bank N.A, one of the largest banks in the U.S.

The issues started several days ago and have slowed the bank’s ability to update certain kinds of customer transaction information. As a result, it has been taking “longer than usual” for credit and debits to appear on customer accounts, the bank said in a statement. The problems could result in account balances being temporarily different from what a customer expects.

In 2004, the TD Bank Financial Group and The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce were both hit with unidentified computer glitches, causing disruption to customer accounts and online banking systems.

The bank said it had prioritized the processing of direct deposits and is “making progress” in resolving the delays. It also assured customers that their accounts and money were safe and that overdraft and other fees that customers incurred because of the disruption would be covered by the bank.

“Across the organization, all hands are on deck to resolve these issues and get back to business as usual,” the bank said. “From Maine to Florida, our employees remain focused on helping our customers through this period.” An update this afternoon said the company had completed processing all of yesterday’s transactions, though customer account balances are still not yet being updated in real-time.

According to some media reports, the problems are tied to an integration of systems belonging to TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank, both of which are owned by the Toronto-based TD Bank Financial Group. The Canadian company acquired Commerce Bank in March 2008 for $8.5 billion and later merged its operations with that of TD Banknorth.

Nick Petter, a spokesperson for TD Bank, said that while the overall integration of the systems went well, there have been some speed-bumps in the final stages, as you might expect with a project of this size and complexity.

Petter, who sent the comment via e-mail, did not elaborate on what the problems might have been, though he hinted it might have to do with converting to a single operating system. As we worked to come together under the TD Bank brand, one of the most important and critical elements of our integration is our conversion to one operating system, he said. The e-mail described the problem as a temporary technical issue that caused intermittent delays in processing some transactions.

Processing of credits and debits made today has already begun and customers will begin to see updates to their accounts later in the day, he said.

On Sept. 25, the TD Banknorth name was formally changed to TD Bank. It has headquarters in Portland, Me. and Cherry Hill N.J.

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