Thursday, May 28, 2015

TD Bank + Citizens would = Philly-area closings, layoffs

Merger rumored: UK reports

TD Bank + Citizens would = Philly-area closings, layoffs

Canada-based TD Bank is considering paying 8 billion UK pounds (nearly $13 billion) for Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Financial Corp., the London Times reports here, citing unnamed sources; see also Reuters story here. Citizens' owner, the British-government-run Royal Bank of Scotland, has said it is seeking a minority investor but not confirmed any outright sale; the banks wouldn't talk to the Times.

A TD-Citizens combination would likely result in branch closings and layoffs in the Philadelphia area, where TD owns what used to be Commerce Bank, and Citizens includes Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, which combines the former Girard and PSFS. Merged competitors typically pick the more successful branch in each suburb or neighborhood, and shut the other. An out-of-market owner, by contrast, would be more likely to keep local offices running.

The combined company would rival Wells Fargo & Co. (ex-PNB, Philly National, Meridian, etc.) as the region's dominant branch bank and lender.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano