TD Bank, N.A. (formerly Commerce Bancorp) is a Cherry Hill, New Jersey, based bank holding company that offers banking, insurance, brokerage, and investment banking services in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Florida, and Maryland.
On October 2, 2007 it was announced that Commerce Bancorp would be acquired by Toronto-Dominion Bank, the owner and operator of competitor TD Banknorth. The acquisition closed on March 31st, 2008. The company will begin to re-brand Commerce Bank stores in late 2008 and TD Banknorth stores in 2009, all reflecting the new TD Bank name.
Commerce's philosophy is that they are retailers and not bankers, and go so far as to call their various locations stores, and not branches.
Features that Commerce offers its customers include:
Commerce Bank's business model has generated what some call a cult following in the geographic areas where they currently have stores. Commerce offers its customers merchandising giveaways such as coffee mugs, pens and pencils. In 2006 alone, they gave out 28 million free pens.
It has been called Mc-Bank because Vernon Hill used his knowledge of the fast food chains he owns and applied it to the banking industry.
This model was described in the case of study HBS 9-603-080 from Harvard Business School, published at 2002.
Buzz Bee is also a mascot for the bank. However, Buzz is used primarily as an internal mascot for the "WOW! members" (i.e. the employees).
Both of these "mascots" are to be eliminated in the near future due to the TD acquisition.
While most of Commerce Bank's growth is organic, there have been five large acquisitions since the bank's founding:
On October 2 2007, TD Bank Financial Group (TDBFG) and Commerce Bancorp, Inc. announced that they had signed a definitive deal agreement for TDBFG to acquire Commerce Bank in a 75% stock and 25% cash transaction valued at US$8.5 billion.
Under the agreement, Commerce shareholders will receive 0.4142 shares of a TD common share and US$10.50 in cash in exchange for each common share of Commerce Bancorp Inc. The consideration was negotiated on the basis of US$42.00 per share value for Commerce Bank. The transaction value based on the October 1, 2007 closing price of TD common shares is $42.37.
Following the completion of the transaction, TDBFG expects to take a one time restructuring charge of approximately US$490 million pre-tax. The deal closed on March 31st, 2008, Commerce Bank employees were given a welcome kit with 2 TD pins (to replace the previous "C" pin worn by staff, a small bag of green M&Ms and a brochure of the history of TDBFG.
On March 20, 2008 the combined company announced they would be doing business as TD Commerce Bank after the merger, but as a result of a legal challenge in Massachusetts by Commerce Bank and Trust Company, a regional bank who competed directly with TD Banknorth in Massachusetts, over the use of the name, TDBFG decided not to go forward with its original rebranding plans. Instead the Commerce Bank name, red "C" logo, and red theme will be retired and the branches will carry the brand name TD Bank, although the "America's Most Convenient Bank" tagline will remain (as was originally planned).
The plans for rolling out the TD Bank brand are on track. In the Mid-Atlantic and Florida regions, TD Bank will begin rebranding the Commerce Stores with the TD Bank brand in November 2008. In the TD Banknorth bank region, the rebranding will launch in fall 2009.
Commerce Bank is widely known to have hired a significant number of politicians in the state of New Jersey. In March 2003, South Jersey's powerful Democratic political leader George Norcross III was named to the board on the same day as former Republican Gov. Donald DiFrancesco. The board also includes Joseph Buckelew, former chairman of the Ocean County Republican Party.
Commerce Bank also paid the NASD a $600,000 fine, and exited the municipal bond market. On December 82005, Commerce Capital Markets, Inc. consented to a proposed letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent to settle alleged MSRB rule violations for conduct between 2000 and 2002. Without admitting or denying the alleged violations, and subject to final NASD approval, Commerce consented to the NASD’s findings; and a $600,000 fine.
CEO Vernon Hill resigned on June 292007; his resignation was effective as of July 31, 2007. This action is believed to be due to an overzealous bank examiner from the OCC who looked unfavorably on related party transactions, which consisted of real estate transactions, and bank design services. No wrong doing has ever been proven and the related party transactions had been disclosed since the banks inception.
Hill is leaving as the bank finalized arrangements to a new statute for corporate governance with the Office of the Controller of the Currency along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia regarding insider transactions. Under the terms of the agreement, new leadership will work more closely with regulators in the future.
Since 2003, numerous Commerce Bank stores in the New York/New Jersey area have been robbed. Police officials such as New York City Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly and other experts blame customer-friendly bank layouts, such as a lack of bulletproof teller windows, as well as bank practices, such as later closing hours, for making Commerce Bank stores more tempting targets.
TD Bank and TD Banknorth Strengthen Local Communities with $13.7 Million in Financial Support Through TD Charitable Foundation in 2008.
Feb 07, 2009; TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, and TD Banknorth recently announced they have contributed $13.7 million to local...