TD Bank says it wants to be No. 3 in New York City

Wed Sep 7, 2011 11:50am EDT

* TD aims to jump from No. 5 in greater NYC

* Competitors dealing with lawsuits

* Canada's No. 2 bank has more branches in US than at home (In U.S. dollars unless noted)

TORONTO, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is aiming to become the No. 3 retail bank in greater New York City, and sees strong growth opportunities in general in its U.S. business, the bank's chief executive said on Wednesday.

TD, Canada's second-biggest bank, has turned to the United States for growth as Canada's retail bank sector is already dominated by a small group of large lenders, making market share gains a challenge.

The more fragmented U.S. landscape and much larger population offer better growth opportunities, allowing TD's U.S. bank to become a "growth machine", TD CEO Ed Clark said at the Scotia Capital Financials Summit in Toronto.

"If you think of the greater New York City, the total deposit base is about the deposit base of Canada," he said.

He said TD, which is currently the fifth biggest bank in New York with about $11 billion in deposits, can reach No. 3 "in the next few years".

After a series of acquisitions that begin in 2004, TD now has more branches in the United States than it has in Canada.

Clark said the bank's growth prospects are helped by "historical issues" stemming from the U.S. mortgage crisis that are dogging U.S. competitors.

"It's hard to focus on growth if all the time you're spending your time trying to settle litigation," he said.

Several U.S. banks will face billions in losses if a series of lawsuits launched last week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over soured mortgage bonds is successful. [ID:nN1E7851Qs] (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)

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