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Feb 25, 2021

TD to close 82 U.S. bank branches as COVID drives digital growth

TD, CIBC make it six-for-six in bank earnings bonanza

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Toronto-Dominion Bank said it will close 82 bank branches in the U.S. as part of a “store optimization” in its American unit, where net income dropped in the fiscal first quarter.

Greg Braca, chief executive officer of Toronto-Dominion’s TD Bank U.S. unit, announced the number of closures during the company’s earnings conference call Thursday. Toronto-Dominion said in a filing earlier in the day that earnings at the U.S. retail bank fell 16 per cent to US$615 million, including a 6 per cent increase in expenses that was primarily the result of branch closures.

“It was a larger impact on the number of stores that we will be closing relative to the normal pruning that we would do annually for the last several years,” Braca said on the call. The closures, with most planned for April, were based on an evaluation of locations redundant to nearby branches. Also, many people have begun doing more transactions online or over TD’s app in the past year, he said. Still, “COVID taught the company that many customers do want to do business in a physical location.”

The Toronto-based bank had 1,223 U.S. branches as of Jan. 31, according to a company filing, meaning the closures represent 6.7 per cent of locations in the country.

“You’ll see markets in future years where we continue to invest in new stores,” Braca said. “But what you’re also seeing is the need for investment in digital and digital capabilities, and we’re doing just that.”