Q. What is the bank’s strategy for South Florida and for the state? And do you have specific plans for additional “stores?”
TD Bank strives to be a top three bank in terms of market share in all of the markets in which it does business. Florida is no different. We have concentrated largely on expansion in South Florida because of the potential for population and economic growth in the area. We do have plans to open 10 stores in 2013. Additionally, we are working on optimizing our store network and expanding market share in metro areas such as Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville.
Q. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, TD Bank ranked second in the South Florida district in terms of dollars and third in terms of number of loans approved during fiscal 2012: 98 loans, totaling $30.9 million. Is small business lending a focus for the bank here?
Small businesses are a major focus point for TD Bank and SBA lending goes hand-in-hand with this initiative. TD was able to lend through the recession because it did not experience the credit issues seen in most U.S. banks. As a result, we were able to continue lending to South Florida small businesses when many competitors pulled back. We are expanding this critical commercial segment and have a number of products to meet the loan and credit needs of small businesses.
Q. What other areas of lending is TD Bank involved in?
TD Bank is involved in several areas of lending in the retail and commercial sides of the bank. Our consumer products include mortgages, home equity loans and credit cards. In the commercial bank, we do SBA, small business, middle market and institutional loans and real estate. We also have specialty commercial branches that work in areas such as institutional health care and government banking.
Q. How about private banking and wealth management?
TD Bank has identified this segment as an area of growth and opportunity. Additionally, with the large concentration of affluent customers in Florida, we have a tremendous opportunity to deliver our wealth offering to this market. TD’s best-in-class wealth professionals help our high net worth customers achieve their financial goals by delivering customized private banking and wealth management solutions. They deliver our comprehensive wealth offerings by building long-lasting relationships and providing exceptional customer service. We have a large TD Wealth office in Coral Gables, as well as in other convenient locations throughout the state.
Q. TD Bank has been deeply embroiled in lawsuits related to convicted Fort Lauderdale Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein. In one suit, a jury decided the bank must pay $67 million in damages and the bank was sanctioned by a federal judge, and in another suit, the bank reached a settlement to pay $170 million. Where does the bank stand today in terms of litigation?
TD Bank has entered into a settlement agreement, subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court, with the RRA and Banyon bankruptcy trustees in order to conclude pending and threatened litigation claims by the trustees against TD Bank related to the Rothstein Ponzi scheme. While TD Bank believes it has strong defenses to the Trustee’s claims, the Bank believes that settlement is in the best interests of all concerned.