TD’s Masrani: Convenience counts

September 15, 2009

TD’s U.S. bank CEO Bharat Masrani loves his bank’s slogan.

Maybe a little too much, if his Tuesday afternoon presentation at the Barclay’s Global Finance Services Conference is any indication.

Masrani — CEO of Toronto-based TD Bank Financial Group’s American arm — repeatedly appended the company’s slogan “America’s Most Convenient Bank” after TD Bank’s formal name, in both his prepared remarks and the Q&A period responding to audience members. 

At least nine times in a 40-minute period, by a reporter’s informal count, Masrani provided the rote recitation that, yes, the bank with 1,100 branches and 23,000 employees along on the Eastern Seaboard is America’s most convenient.

Just don’t go to the West Coast.    

The statement isn’t part of the company’s formal name, according to FDIC bank records.

So what’s driving Masrani’s obsession with the slogan? 

A company spokesman said the slogan attachment to the name is part of an effort to differentiate the American operations from the Canadian businesses of essentially the same name. The phrase is attached in all forms of communication, from the company’s website to, yes, speeches, and has been in place since 2008.

On top of the slogan reptition, Masrani’s speech broke ranks with the bulk of presentations at the two-day investor conference in other ways.

Masrani cited a photo of a man on stilts outside a TD Bank branch as evidence branch events are sights to behold.

The company’s “Penny Arcade,” a free change sorter in TD Bank branches, is a hit with the kids. “Just ask them,” he implored the audience, a part of a larger description of the former Commerce Bank’s “legendary” customer service.

(Reporting by Joe Rauch)

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