Tuesday, January 30, 2007

TD Bank CEO Comments on US Expansion Strategy

Bloomberg, Sean B. Pasternak, 30 January 2007

Following are comments made today by Toronto-Dominion Bank Chief Executive Officer Edmund Clark at a conference sponsored by Citigroup Inc. in New York.

Toronto-Dominion, Canada's second-largest bank by assets, offered in November to buy the 43 percent of Portland, Maine- based TD Banknorth Inc. that it doesn't already own for $3.2 billion in cash. The bank also owns about a third of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

On the outlook for TD Banknorth:

``Banking in the U.S. hasn't been a particularly great business over the past year or so, and I think faces tough prospects over the next couple of years.

``We see a market in which the deposit base isn't growing particularly rapidly, and we do see the potential for deteriorating credit.

``On the other hand, we also see tremendous opportunity in the U.S. We find that many of these small banks in the United States, indeed even medium-sized banks, are relatively unsophisticated on a world scale.

``We think the things that we need to do to improve the performance of Banknorth are all things that we know how to do.''

On making acquisitions at TD Bankorth:

``We're going to have a pause in terms of acquisitions for 2007 while we prove out that these techniques actually do work when you do export them, and that we do improve the performance of Banknorth and then we'll look to do small acquisitions that give us the positions we want in the marketplace and then build out from those acquisitions.''

On cost savings at TD Ameritrade:

``We're still in the early days of rolling out those synergies, but the main bump will come in the fourth quarter of this year, 2007, where the costs come out when you do the conversion. Ameritrade has a great track record of doing a number of these, of getting the costs out.

``So mathematically, there's a tremendous boost to our earnings as we did this transaction and as we roll out the cost synergies.''