Toronto-Dominion Bank would consider small retail bank takeovers in the U.S. Southeast to expand its branch network on the Eastern Seaboard, Chief Executive Officer Bharat Masrani said.
"If there was a smallish tuck-in type of acquisition available in the Southeast of the U.S., we would certainly look at it seriously," Masrani, 58, said Thursday after the bank's annual investors meeting in Toronto. "It would accelerate our store build-out by a few years."
Toronto-Dominion spent about $17 billion building a branch network from Maine to Florida in the past 10 years under former CEO Ed Clark. Masrani said he's focusing on "organic growth" for its U.S. retail lender TD Bank and will consider deals if they fit within the firm's strategy.
Toronto-Dominion had 1,164 Canadian branches compared with 1,301 in the U.S. as of Jan. 31, according to financial statements. The lender opens about 25 to 30 branches a year in the U.S., Masrani said.
Masrani said Toronto-Dominion is also interested in more asset acquisitions in the U.S. after buying Target Corp.'s U.S. credit-card portfolio in 2013 and auto-lender Chrysler Financial Corp. in 2011.
"Given the type of balance sheet we have in the U.S., we are highly liquid and are always looking at asset opportunities," he said. "We are rich in deposits and not as rich in loans."
Toronto-Dominion may resume offering exchange-traded funds in Canada after exiting the business in 2006, Masrani said. Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal currently offer their own ETF products.
"We are starting to build up capabilities to see whether it makes sense," he said. "We look at every opportunity very seriously and if it is a demand that our customers, prospective customers have then we will certainly figure out a way to scale that business up."