June 1, 2020 / 5:31 PM / a month ago

Canada bank CEOs call for action on racism as protests rage across U.S.

FILE PHOTO: The Toronto-Dominion (TD) bank logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - Chief executives of Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on Monday called for action to tackle racism, as violent protests raged across the United States over racial inequities and excessive police force.

The unrest began with peaceful protests over the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis last Monday, with video footage showing a white police officer kneeling on his neck before he died.

“Tragedies like these are far too common, where people in our communities - in particular those who are black or indigenous - senselessly lose their lives,” CIBC CEO Victor Dodig wrote on LinkedIn. “We need to find solutions, together.”

CIBC’s U.S. commercial banking and wealth management business accounts for about 11% of revenues.

“As a society we must have zero-tolerance for racism of any kind,” TD CEO Bharat Masrani said in a statement.

“At a time when we are all fighting COVID-19, we must remember that racism too must be eradicated,” Masrani said.

TD’s U.S. retail business makes up 27% of revenues.

Reporting By Nichola Saminather; Editing by Richard Chang and Cynthia Osterman

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