Tuesday, April 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 raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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

Joseph N. DiStefano
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