TD looks to expand U.S. presence through acquisitions - CEO

Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:43pm EDT
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By John Tilak and Carmel Crimmins

NEW YORK, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Toronto Dominion Bank is interested in broadening its U.S. market presence through acquisitions and could boost its credit card and wealth management businesses through potential deals, Chief Executive Bharat Masrani said on Friday.

The Canadian bank, which has grown rapidly in the U.S. Northeast, may also bolster its reach in the Southeast, including Florida, by going after suitable targets, he said in an interview.

TD's U.S. balance sheet has grown quickly and includes roughly $250 billion in assets, he said. TD, Canada's largest lender by assets, has more than 1,300 branches along the East Coast and is one of the 10 biggest banks in the United States.

The lender is looking to buy assets or asset-generating units to leverage its balance sheet strength, while primarily staying focused on organic growth, he said.

TD has acquired credit card portfolios at Target and Nordstrom, and Masrani said if there were more such opportunities, TD would take a very serious look.

"Our credit card exposures are still within the concentrations that we would be comfortable with. So we have lots more room to grow that asset class," he said. "We'd like our (loan book) to be fairly well diversified."

TD's growth has been fueled by acquisitions in the United States, including Banknorth in 2007 and Commerce Bancorp in 2008.

Masrani declined to say if TD was planning to snap up some of General Electric's finance assets. TD has been flagged as a possible buyer.   Continued...