Canada's TD Bank eyeing small acquisitions in U.S. market

Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:47pm EDT
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, March 26 (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank , Canada's second-largest lender, said on Thursday it is open to doing small acquisitions in the U.S. market that would allow it to accelerate its branch rollout, especially in the southeastern part of the country.

"We open about 25 to 30 new branches in the U.S. every year right through our footprint, so if there was a smallish tuck-in opportunity in the U.S. Southeast, we would certainly look at it seriously, because it would accelerate our store build-out by a few years," said Chief Executive Bharat Masrani at a roundtable with media.

TD, already one of the 10 largest banks in the United States with over 1,300 branches along the eastern coast stretching from Maine to Florida, sees no pressing need to do any transformative acquisitions at this time, said Masrani.

"I've learned never to say never, but the great thing is we don't need to do a big deal," he said. "If something compelling comes up, we will certainly look at it, but we are not compelled to do it because there is a strategic gap in our franchise."

Masrani, who headed TD's U.S. banking operations before taking over as CEO in November, said that TD remains an "organic growth type of institution," but would look for other opportunities in the U.S. market too.

"Given the type of balance sheet we have in the U.S., we are also highly liquid and are always looking at opportunities that would fill out our balance sheet because we are rich in deposits but not as rich in loans," he said.

As of Jan. 31, TD had $250 billion in assets in the U.S. and $204 billion in deposits, with a loan book of some $117 billion.

Last month, TD extended its contract with discount retailer Target Corp, making it the exclusive issuer of Target co-branded and private label consumer credit cards to Target's U.S. customers until March 2025. (Reporting by Euan Rocha)