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TD in a New York state of mind

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Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD-T) wants to become the third-largest bank in New York City within the next few years.

Speaking at the bank's annual meeting, held simultaneously in Manhattan and Toronto on Thursday, TD chief executive officer Ed Clark said TD intends to continue bulking up New York, adding 50 new branches and hundreds of new staff.

"TD has big plans in the Big Apple," Clark said in Manhattan. "We are the fifth largest retail bank in New York City, with $11.6 billion in deposits… In four years, we want to be New York's third largest retail bank."

The move would catapult Canada's second-largest lender into the highest tier of U.S. consumer banks in New York City, among the likes of JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, which are first and second in terms of branches.

TD has been expanding aggressively in the U.S over the past decade, buying up American lenders from Maine to Florida, and now has more branches south of the border than in Canada. It has roughly 1,300 locations in the U.S. and 1,100 in Canada.

New York has been a significant area of expansion for TD, which bought New Jersey-based Commerce Bancorp in 2007, giving it a large footprint throughout the area. That network now includes a branch on Wall Street that Clark said has been the cornerstone of the bank's growth.

"We opened a store there six years ago surrounded by competitors. Today, it has more than $1 billion (U.S.) in deposits," Clark said. The branch handles large business accounts as well as consumer banking. "This one location has more deposits than 93 percent of all US banks," he said.

Clark noted TD has gone from a top-30 North American bank in 2002 to the sixth biggest today. In Canada, TD is the second-largest bank behind Royal Bank of Canada in terms of assets, but has been challenging RBC for biggest bank by market capitalization over the past year.

TD made $6.3 billion in adjusted earnings in 2011, up 20 percent from the year before.

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