TD Bank’s CRO on the importance of staying nimble

Downturn readiness exercises helped bank weather Covid credit shock

Ajai Bambawale
Ajai Bambawale, TD Bank’s chief risk officer
Photo: John Hryniuk @

Call it a premonition. January 21, 2020, marked the day the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in North America. Months earlier, during the course of routine downturn readiness stress-testing, TD Bank’s risk teams had been war-gaming a sudden, sharp correction to the strong credit cycle that had prevailed for the past decade in its core markets.

“We took the view that we’ve long been in a good credit cycle, and we should be prepared for a downturn. We had no idea a downturn was months away,”

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