Commerce Bank name to vanish, replaced by TD Bank

NEW YORK Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:06am EDT

NEW YORK Oct 31 (Reuters) - The Commerce Bank name will disappear from hundreds of branches along the Atlantic seaboard by Nov. 5, replaced by TD Bank to reflect its new owner, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO).

The Canadian bank said it plans to change signage between Nov. 1 and Nov. 4 at roughly 575 Commerce and TD Banknorth branches in the New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., areas, the rest of the mid-Atlantic, and Florida.

Toronto-Dominion plans to retain features that have helped Commerce do well in customer surveys, such as seven-day-a-week banking and Penny Arcade coin-counting machines.

It also plans a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign featuring talk show hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, who have appeared in Commerce advertising for years.

By the autumn of 2009, Toronto-Dominion plans to rebrand some 500 remaining TD Banknorth branches located throughout New England.

The Canadian bank bought Commerce's parent, Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based Commerce Bancorp Inc, in March for $7 billion.

It had planned to adopt the name TD Commerce Bank in the United States, but changed plans after a federal judge in Massachusetts said that name was too similar to that of Commerce Bank & Trust Co, a Worcester, Massachusetts, lender.

Toronto-Dominion said its U.S. banking network has $114 billion of assets, with nearly 1,100 branches stretching from Maine to Florida. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by John Wallace)

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