Founding of The Bank of Toronto
TD's earliest predecessor, The Bank of Toronto, was founded in 1855 in Toronto, Canada, by a group of Ontario flour millers and grain dealers. Rooted in Canada's emerging grain industry, the new bank provided essential banking, insurance and commodity exchange services. As the bank's business grew, a three person staff began developing a provincial branch network and expanded outside Ontario, to Montreal in 1860.
The Dominion Bank
Inspired by the prosperity and optimism following Canada's founding in 1867, a group of professionals, industrialists and financiers raised funds to create a new financial institution. Eager to help the young country finance important nation-building projects, the Canadian Parliament issued a charter to The Dominion Bank in 1869. Opening its first branch in 1871, The Dominion Bank kept pace with The Bank of Toronto in extending its service to customers and communities across central Canada.
Canada's Western development
As the Canadian west opened to development in the 1880s, the banks began extending loans to the resource, utilities and manufacturing sectors. The Dominion Bank made the first move west, opening in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1897, and two years later the Bank of Toronto opened a branch in the British Columbia mining town of Rossland.
A promising new century
The new century heralded impressive growth for both banks, with The Bank of Toronto expanding from 16 to 161 branches in 1900 and 1920. The Dominion Bank made its first foreign venture in 1911, with the opening of an office in London England, followed by a New York office in 1919. By 1922, The Dominion Bank achieved representation in every region of Canada when it opened a location in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Coming together for the future
Overcoming the challenges of the war years and the Great Depression, both banks extended their branch networks rapidly, mirroring Canada's industrial and building boom through the 1940s and 1950s. Recognizing that a union of equals would help them grow with the post-war economy, The Bank of Toronto and The Dominion Bank negotiated an amalgamation in 1954.
On February 1, 1955, the Toronto Dominion Bank was born with 499 branches and a combined team of 5,500 employees. The new bank philosophy emphasized customer service and product knowledge. "The Best in Banking Service", the combined bank's first slogan, evolved into "The Bank Where People Make the Difference."
A forward-looking, international identity
Within a decade, TD bank ventured into new business lines, including large international project financings. To satisfy its diverse customer base, TD launched products and services in an almost daily basis, including mutual funds through the branch network in 1964 and the VISA card (known as Chargex) in 1968. TD's global vision came to be symbolized by the dramatic, international-style Toronto-Dominion Tower which opened for business in 1967. It was the tallest building in Canada and the British Commonwealth at the time. Capping this era of modernization, TD's new spring green logo was introduced in 1969.
In the 1980s, TD continued to enter new businesses such as international money market trading and commercial real estate developments including the Toronto Eaton Centre and the Pacific Centre in Vancouver. The bank made a landmark move into the discount brokerage business by launching Green Line Investor Services and later added a full-service brokerage. In 1987, Toronto Dominion Securities Inc. was established to provide corporate, treasury and investment banking services to corporate clients.
Evolving with customer needs and technology
Throughout the remainder of the 20th century, the bank adapted to opportunities presented by new technologies, emerging businesses and customer markets. TD strove to lead the banking industry in electronic financial services, improving the convenience of banking and investing by telephone and the Internet.
Along the way, the bank made milestone acquisitions, including the purchase of Central Guaranty Trust in 1992 and New York-based Waterhouse Investor Services in 1996, a move which doubled the size of TD's discount brokerage overnight. In 2000, TD purchased Canada Trust. Canada's first trust company, it was founded in 1872 to serve Ontario's southwestern farmers and small businesses. Canada Trust was recognized for customer service and product innovation and had introduced precedent-setting ‘8 to 8 six days straight' service in its branches across Canada in 1976.
TD also marked the new millennium by acquiring Newcrest Capital, expanding TD Securities' institutional equities offerings, including equity sales, trading, research, underwriting and distribution expertise for wholesale client.
A North American Powerhouse emerges
True to its commitment to build for the long-term, TD celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005 by setting its sights on expanding its North American platform. It acquired 51% of TD Banknorth which Forbes Magazine had dubbed the "best managed bank in America". TD Banknorth's roots extend as far back as 1852 when its earliest predecessor, Portland Savings Bank, first opened its doors to meet the financial needs of the U.S. eastern seaboard city's community. In 2005, TD Banknorth acquired Hudson Bancorp, further strengthening TD's retail footprint in the Northeastern United States.
Just a year later, in 2006, TD merged its U.S. based TD Waterhouse discount brokerage operations with TD Ameritrade, creating a top three discount broker in North America. TD initially acquired 32.5% of the merged firm and today holds 42.1%.
In 2007, TD acquired the remaining shares of TD Banknorth and announced its intention to acquire Commerce Bancorp. Commerce had begun as a single branch in Marlton, New Jersey in 1973 and had expanded into New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and South Florida. Commerce earned its tag line "America's Most Convenient Bank" in 1994 when it introduced extended branch hours seven days a week, 361 days a year. Continuing the tradition of being open longer hours in Canada, in 2007, TD Canada Trust further extended its banking hours to 50% more than its nearest competitor and is now open ‘from 8 to late six days straight'.
TD Bank - the new U.S. face of TD
With approval of the Commerce acquisition in 2008, TD became one of the seven largest banks by branch network North America. The operations of Commerce and TD Banknorth were merged in March 2008 under the new brand name TD Bank, with the commitment to maintain Commerce's positioning as "America's Most Convenient Bank".
TD Bank Financial Group today
Today, TD Bank Financial Group and its subsidiaries employ 74,000 people around the world who, directly or through our corporate support areas, serve approximately 17 million customers. Our three key businesses are personal and commercial banking including TD Bank and TD Canada Trust; wealth management including the global operations of TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and wholesale banking including TD Securities, operating in key financial centres around the globe.
Despite the sweeping changes we have witnessed throughout our history, the most important part of our business continues to be our employees. We are proud of their dedication to delivering outstanding service to our customers, building solid relationships with them and contributing to the communities where we work and live.
Our vision for the future
We will continue to build on our combined strengths to be the best-run, most integrated and relentlessly customer-focused bank wherever we compete. Our goal is to build a better bank for our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve.