Toronto-Dominion Bank CEO says not 'trolling' for U.S. deals

TORONTO Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:51pm EDT

TORONTO Oct 21 (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank Chief Executive Ed Clark is not ruling out the possibility that TD could make a large U.S. acquisition, but he said the bank does not need to make a deal and isn't seeking one.

"We're not spending our time trolling the M&A market in the United States," he said in the transcript of an Oct. 17 investor presentation posted on the bank's website on Monday, adding: "we don't need a deal."

Speculation that TD could make an acquisition was stoked last week when the Sunday Times reported that TD is considering a bid for Royal Bank of Scotland's U.S. arm Citizens.

Similar speculation earlier this year prompted Clark to say in February that a purchase of Citizens would not meet TD's criteria for acquisitions.

"What I said (in February) is still where we would be today," he said in the Oct. 17 comments.

However, he also noted that he can't rule out the possibility that an acquisition of a lender in TD's U.S. footprint could materialize.

"It'd be irresponsible if someone called and said, 'I got a deal you can't turn down', then we would say, 'well, we can and we're not even going to look at it'. That would be irresponsible," he said.

TD is Canada's second-largest lender, and operates a 1,300- branch U.S. network on the Eastern Seaboard.

"Despite all the stories, I don't know whether that's going to happen in the future. It has not happened at this point, but whether it will happen, who knows," he said.

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