The head of Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) said Thursday that he is not interested in buying Royal Bank of Scotland's U.S. operations.
On Thursday, RBS announced it would pursue a deal to appease its regulators by selling 25% of Citizens Financial Group in Providence, R.I., to the public. The move had been expected, and speculation has been rampant for days whether other banks, including Toronto-Dominion, would try to buy Citizens outright.
The New York Post reported last year that Toronto-Dominion had initial conversations with RBS about a deal for Citizens.
Ed Clark, TD's chief executive, addressed the rumors head on during his prepared remarks for the Canadian company's conference call about its fiscal first quarter.
"Given recent media reports, just to be sure, I want to try to put this question firmly to bed," Clark said. "Last quarter I indicated that if we were to look at a larger deal it would need to fit the bank's strategy, timing and risk appetite. In addition, it would need to meet our financial hurdles and be supported by the market. We do not believe that a transaction to acquire RBS's Citizens Bank is available that meets these criteria."
U.S. Bancorp (USB) and PNC Financial Services Group (PNC) have also been named as potential suitors of Citizens, but analysts say such deals are unlikely because of a regulatory environment that is discouraging large banks from getting bigger and those companies' individual business plans.