Magazine article American Banker

TD Talks Up Retail Plans for Banknorth Partnership

Magazine article American Banker

TD Talks Up Retail Plans for Banknorth Partnership

Article excerpt

Toronto-Dominion Bank's strong fiscal fourth-quarter earnings illustrate its emphasis on retail banking, a focus the Canadian company said led it to seek its pending deal with Banknorth Group Inc. over other U.S. targets.

"We just feel more comfortable with retail banking, and there is ongoing consolidation in the U.S.," said Daniel Marinangeli, Toronto-Dominion's chief financial officer, in a telephone interview after the $262 billion-asset company reported earnings Wednesday.

Plans for the $29 billion-asset Banknorth have not been detailed. But Mr. Marinangeli said Toronto-Dominion may increase the number of branches that its New York brokerage operation, TD Waterhouse, has around Boston and elsewhere in New England to cross-sell to Banknorth customers. "We think there can be some interplay," he said.

In the Canadian model, brokerage offices are often close to bank branches, Mr. Marinangeli said.

Canada's third-biggest banking company announced the $3.8 billion deal for a 51% stake in Banknorth of Portland, Maine, on Aug. 26. It is set to close next quarter and would be Toronto-Dominion's first acquisition of a U.S. bank. Earlier this year Toronto-Dominion was discussing a possible deal with E-Trade Group Inc., the New York discount broker, but those talks broke down.

On Wednesday, Toronto-Dominion reported profits of $516 million for the period that ended Oct. 31., 22.2% more than a year earlier.

Retail bank earnings rose 19. …

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