Bull Bear Report May 26 2011

Canada's TD Bank Boosts U.S. Hiring

By julie steinberg

Canada's TD Bank moderately increased its headcount in most of its divisions during the second quarter ending April 30, but one group in particular saw a significant bump as part of a planned growth spurt: the U.S. personal and commercial banking group.

According to its second quarter earnings released today, the bank increased headcount in that group by 4,060 to 23,447 from the second quarter last year, a 21% increase.

The large jump is due to TD's planned organic growth due to increased loan activity in the U.S. and an acquisition spree. The company is being opportunistic about taking over failed U.S. lenders.

Last year, the bank acquired South Financial Group and lenders in Florida, which led to a 12% increase in lending volume year-over-year. Deposit growth rose 11%.

"We had a great result in the U.S. We're very, very pleased," TD chief financial officer Colleen Johnston told Dow Jones. "The fundamental organic growth has been very strong."

According to the earnings statement, loan growth hit expectations for the quarter and the bank expects more growth, driven by residential mortgages and commercial lending.

Revenue for the quarter in U.S. personal and commercial banking group was $1.4 billion, an increase of $267 million compared with the second quarter last year. TD is among the top ten largest banks in the U.S. by deposits, according to the FDIC.

Recruiters and industry experts predicted that commercial banking hiring would take off in 2011. Increased loan demand is expected to translate into more hiring, said said Doug Rickart, a banking division director with Menlo Park, Calif.-based recruiting firm Robert Half. Commercial banks have tended to attract older workers, but as thousands retire over the next several years, 20- and 30-somethings may be enticed by those spots.

Write to Julie Steinberg

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