TD Bank tops earnings estimates despite U.S. anti-money laundering probe

Click to play video: 'Business Matters: TD Bank sets aside $450 million for U.S. anti-money laundering probe fine'
Business Matters: TD Bank sets aside $450 million for U.S. anti-money laundering probe fine
TD Bank Group says it’s setting aside US$450 million related to an ongoing U.S. regulatory inquiry into its anti-money laundering compliance. Anne Gaviola has this story and more in Business Matters for Wednesday, May 1 – May 1, 2024

TD Bank on Thursday reported better than expected quarterly earnings helped by strength in Canada and its wealth management unit, even as its U.S segment struggled amid probes related to its anti-money laundering program.

TD, Canada’s second largest bank, said net income at home rose seven per cent. This was helped by loan growth and newcomers opening accounts as it increased focus on the segment through a partnership with India’s HDFC bank to attract customers, such as students moving to the country.

South of the border, the lender is facing a U.S. Department of Justice probe over its ties to a $653 million drug money-laundering case in New York and New Jersey related to illegal drug sales.

In the U.S, earnings fell 58 per cent as it set aside $450 million to cover potential fines for one of three regulatory probes on the issue and is anticipating more monetary penalties.

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The U.S. typically brings in about a quarter to a third of TD’s profit after its rapid expansion over the past decade, acquiring smaller region banks on the east coast and southeast U.S. and building a network of 1,100 branches.

Click to play video: 'TD Bank customers eligible for payout in $15.9M class-action settlement'
TD Bank customers eligible for payout in $15.9M class-action settlement

But after its proposed $13.4 billion acquisition of First Horizon was scrapped, TD said it would continue to focus on the U.S. market expanding brick by brick by opening about 150 branches.

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“The way we look at it is that it (AML probe) is situation dependent. We may pace the store opening differently given these priorities but we have a very strong franchise,” CFO Kelvin Tran said in an interview.

“The US continues to be an important part for TD… we still believe in expanding stores and our footprint,” he said, adding that it has invested over $500 million in program remediation and platform enhancements.

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TD said it is working with U.S. regulators to bring these investigations to a resolution so investors can have more clarity, and that a “comprehensive overhaul” of its U.S. AML program is well underway.

Click to play video: 'TD Bank settlement opt out deadline approaches'
TD Bank settlement opt out deadline approaches

“We continue to view TD’s U.S. anti-money laundering investigations as the biggest event impacting the company,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Darko Mihelic said, noting that revenues were stronger than expected.

Loan loss provisions rose to C$1.07 billion from C$599 million a year ago.

The Wealth Management and Insurance unit’s net income rose 19 per cent to C$621 million, compared with the same quarter last year.

The bank’s adjusted net income rose to C$3.79 billion

($2.77 billion), or C$2.04 per share, in the quarter, from C$3.71 billion, or C$1.91 per share, a year earlier.

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Analysts were expecting C$1.85, according to LSEG data. ($1 = 1.3664 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru and Nivedita Balu in Toronto; Editing by Tasim Zahid and Chizu Nomiyama)

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