Rob Curley

Rob Curley
Commercial Market President, South Jersey
TD Bank

Stepping up for South Jersey

As the pandemic continues, banks have been the unexpected players in the nation’s recovery, says Rob Curley, commercial market president of TD Bank in South Jersey.

“We’ve been committed to making sure people maintain their livelihoods,” says Curley.

In the early days of the pandemic, Curley and his team at TD developed 3 core priorities – staff safety, customer service and community support.

Before the bank did anything else, they focused on the safety and wellbeing of their colleagues to enable them to best serve customers in the pandemic environment, Curley says. Many jobs transitioned into work-from-home positions, and for those who had to be in the office, the bank created policies and practices that prioritized employee health. These rapid changes meant that TD Bank could continue ensuring customers – both consumer and business – had the resources they needed to make it through a difficult time.

“As the world changed, people’s financial and banking needs changed,” says Curley. “We saw a significant increase in digital banking, so we personalized our banking to maintain that personal attention and service of working with someone one-on-one. We didn’t lose that key element that really sets TD apart.”

“This area is unique – it really is a mom-and-pop-shop business community. When we see businesses like that struggling, it is our duty as the largest bank in South Jersey to step in and help in every possible way.”

This new approach applies to individual customers as well as small businesses, he says. One of the major ways TD shifted its focus was through TD Cares, a comprehensive program that provided financial relief for customers affected by the pandemic.

“This was so important for small businesses and commercial clients who really needed a lifeline to survive,” he says.

TD also increased its efforts to support the community through more targeted outreach.

“We really focused on identifying and supporting community-based organizations that made a significant impact on the people and business in South Jersey through grants, donations and other support,” says Curley.

For example, the bank made significant contributions to organizations helping New Jersey residents such as the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and St. Joseph’s House of Camden. They also never stopped sponsoring community and business events – first virtual, and now back to in-person or hybrid – so organizations that relied on fundraising money could still continue their work despite pandemic restrictions.

These actions were vital, he says, because TD Bank doesn’t just serve South Jersey – they’re a part of the community here.

“TD is headquartered in Cherry Hill,” says Curley. “For so many of our employees, South Jersey is home. We feel a deep commitment to supporting the needs of our local communities by developing and deploying resources, and providing capital that strengthens the economic and social wellbeing of individuals, families and businesses.”

The small business community was hit hard, he says, and TD Bank wants to be part of helping them get back on their feet.

“This area is unique – it really is a mom-and-pop-shop business community,” says Curley. “When we see businesses like that struggling, it is our duty as the largest bank in South Jersey to step in and help.”

A significant effort was TD’s implementation of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – an effort Curley calls “one of the most unique, challenging and fulfilling” time periods of his more than 30-year career. During the first round, the bank approved 23,000 PPP loans for $2.4 billion in New Jersey alone. The second round provided another 12,780 loans for $884 million in the state. He and his team took it a step further, he says, by providing in-depth education about the program, so small business owners fully understood the available benefits. The TD team placed a special focus on supporting minority-owned businesses, announcing a $100 million equity fund for minority-owned small businesses.

“That really demonstrates our continued commitment to combat racial inequities and provide opportunities to underserved communities,” says Curley, noting that all the while, they never stopped underwriting small business loans and lines of credit.

As their support for small businesses increased, they found business owners ready to explore services such as fraud protection tools or mobile payment platforms. Curley contributes the interest in new services to the deepening relationship brought on by this outreach work.

“From my perspective, community engagement isn’t just good for business,” he says, “It’s really what differentiates us from the rest of the banks in our region.”

For Curley, it’s a professional mission as well as a personal one.

“At networking events and in my various Board affiliations, I’m able to make a real impact in South Jersey,” he says. “I grew up here, and I’m very proud of our community. Our motto is: ‘We are an unexpectedly human bank,’ and I truly believe we live up to that.”

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