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To The Editor:
When I first moved to the Mad River Valley in 1972, the only bank in town was Howard Bank, a small, centrally located, local bank. I opened a checking account and a savings account. In 1995, Howard Bank evolved into a holding company known as "Howard Bankcorp" and in 1996 merged with Banknorth Group, headquartered in Burlington. I kept my accounts with Banknorth until 1998, when a new bank arrived in town, the Northfield Savings Bank (NSB).
NSB offered free checking and seemed more "local" than Banknorth, so I switched my checking and saving accounts to the new bank. I also had a safe deposit box at the "old" Howard Bank, and the new bank did not offer this service, so I kept the safe deposit box at what is now TD Bank.
In 2004, Banknorth sold 51 percent of its outstanding shares to TD Bank Financial, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the sign in front of the bank changed one more time, to TD Bank. The "TD" stands for Toronto-Dominion and is a stock institution (TD on the NYSE) that is owned by shareholders who benefit from profits earned by the institution.
I have recently learned that TD Bank is a large financial backer of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would contain and move the carbon-rich and leak-prone tar sands that are being "harvested" in Alberta, Canada. I encourage readers to further investigate the environmental repercussions of the tar sands excavation, processing and transport.
Although this seems like a small move to make against a very large institution, I will be terminating my remaining association with TD Bank (with no negative feelings whatsoever directed to the wonderful and caring staff at our local branch) and emptying out my safe deposit box because I do not want to support the Keystone XL pipeline in any way, shape or form.