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Detailed Information on Banknorth Canada

Detailed Information on Banknorth Canada

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Detailed Information on Banknorth Canada: TD Banknorth, which used to be called Banknorth, was a fully owned company of the Toronto-Dominion Bank. It did banking and insurance business mainly in the northeastern United States, with its main office in Portland, Maine. It changed its name to TD Bank, N.A. in May 2008.

In August 2004, Toronto-Dominion Bank bought most of TD Banknorth and changed its name to “TD Banknorth, N.A.” On April 20, 2007, Toronto-Dominion Bank bought all of TD Banknorth’s remaining shares.

Banknorth Connecticut, Peoples Heritage Bank (in Maine), Banknorth Massachusetts, Bank of New Hampshire, Evergreen Bank (in New York), Hudson United Bank, Banknorth Vermont, and Bancnorth Insurance Group were the banks that ran the business. For example, “TD Banknorth of Maine” was the name of one of these companies.

TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank, both based in New Jersey, merged on April 10, 2008, to form TD Bank. The new bank has offices in both Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Portland, Maine. It was changed to TD Bank, N.A., in the eyes of the law on May 31, 2008. 

In the fall of 2008, all Commerce Bank branches and all TD Banknorth offices outside of New England were given new names. In September 2009, the last few stores in New England were given a new name.

The History of Banknorth

Banknorth Group, which is now TD Bank, has its roots in several small savings banks in Maine and Vermont, with Woodstock National Bank being the first one there in 1802.

Portland Savings Bank 

When it opened in 1852, the Portland Savings Bank was only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. The first President was Albion K. Parris, who was the mayor of Portland. One of the bank’s main goals was to help neighborhood and public projects. 

In its 50th year, 1902, it had 24,000 depositors, savings worth almost $10,000,000, and a staff of nine. It had been through the Great Fire of Portland and the financial panics of 1873 and 1878. The Head Office branch got a branch on Congress Street in 1906. Nineteen years later, all business moved to Congress Street.

The 1929 Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression that followed put the bank in great danger. The bank set up a “Real Estate Department,” or property management section, to deal with the large number of foreclosed homes it now owned. 

With the post-war housing boom, Portland Savings was able to get back on its feet, and Roger Lambert, who was CEO from 1965 to 1981, changed the company in big ways. It was his idea to make the board of directors more active and to offer a wide range of bank services, similar to what commercial banks do. 

He added more business loans to Portland Savings’ portfolio and came up with new products for customers, like money market certificates. There were two branches of the bank in Maine in 1965, but by 1981, there were thirteen. Its assets grew from $63 million to $294 million during that time.

The People’s Savings Bank

The first People’s Savings branch opened in Lewiston, Maine, in 1875. The bank was cautious but successful, and the local mill economy helped it do well. At the start of the 20th century, the bank came up with a new idea: they gave all kids born in the area $1 accounts with the condition that they couldn’t be withdrawn for ten years. 

The rule was in place until the 1970s. Christmas and vacation clubs were also set up. In the 1920s and 1930s, when the mill economy went down, it was awful for local banks. 

But during World War II, when factories were rebuilt, and there was a business for defense bonds, things got better. After the war, People helped pay for the new businesses that were slowly taking over from textiles in the area’s economy.

Heritage Savings Bank and Rockland Savings Bank

Rockland Savings was founded in 1868 in Rockland, Maine. It had been tried before, in 1855 and 1861. It became the Heritage Savings Bank in 1974. In 1978 it combined:

  • Penobscot Savings, Bangor, was established in 1869 and was one of the first places where kids could save money through the local school system. It was a “small conservative bank in a small conservative city,” it didn’t open a second office until 1961 to add to its branch network.
  • It was started in Waterville in 1869 as Waterville Savings.

The Franklin County Savings Bank & Trust Co.

Franklin County Savings Bank has been around since 1899 and is based in St. Albans, Vermont. Before it merged with Lamoille County Bank & Trust Company (1875) in the early 1970s, the bank was known as Franklin County Bank. The bank changed its name to Franklin Lamoille Bank after the merger. The bank set up a holding company called Banknorth as well.

The Howard Bancorp bought Woodstock National Bank in 1802. It had been around since 1802. The bank kept its name until June 1999, when it merged with its sister bank, the First Vermont Bank & Trust Company.

Granite Savings Bank & Trust Company

In 1885, the Granite Savings Bank & Trust Company opened in Barre, Vermont. There is now a senior citizen group that meets in the bank’s old office on North Main Street in Barre. The main office is now at 36 North Main Street, Barre. 

The name would stay with Banknorth Group Inc. until it was bought by Peoples Bank (Maine). Granite Savings Bank & Trust merged with its sister bank, The Howard Bank, in 2000. Some customers didn’t know about the change until they got their accounts.

Howard Bank, N.A.

In 1870, the Howard National Bank & Trust Company of Burlington, Vermont, opened for business. Some banks were bought by the bank and put under the Howard Bank name. When it grew to serve more of the state, the Bank changed and shortened its name. 

The bank also set up a banking holding company called “Howard Bancorp” in 1995. That company joined with Banknorth Group Inc. in 1996. Howard Bancorp chose to change its name to Banknorth Group as part of the deal.

The First Vermont Bank & Trust Company

It opened in 1906 as the First Vermont Bank & Trust. The company bought Franklin Lamoille Bank and was one of the first banks to let tellers do their business online. 

The management thought it would be too expensive to upgrade the systems of the new business when Howard Bancorp bought Banknorth Group. The bank bought Woodstock National Bank in 1999. 

In 2002, all three Vermont banks were merged into Banknorth N.A. Vermont, which is a branch of Banknorth N.A.

Woodstock National Bank is the oldest part of the Vermont banking business that Banknorth has recorded so far. The only Vermont bank that isn’t from the 1800s is First Vermont Bank, which opened in 1906.

The merger of Portland, Peoples, and Heritage

“The late 1970s and early 1980s were tough years for the thrift industry. As inflation and interest rates rose into the double digits, savings banks in Maine and other places had to pay higher interest rates to attract depositors while keeping a large portfolio of long-term mortgages with low-interest rates.” 

In 1981, Portland Savings reported a loss and called for the local banking market to be consolidated right away. 

The next year, Portland and People’s merged, and the new bank took on the People’s name. When People’s and Heritage combined in 1984, they became Peoples Heritage, a $1 billion company with Wes Bonney as its first President.

With 35 branches, the new bank moved quickly to add more ATMs, try new things like Cashline phone banking, and focus on business loans, which is something that traditional savings banks don’t usually do. People’s dropped its charter as a mutual bank and re-chartered as a public company in 1986 to get money to grow.

Along with its new funds, the bank expected to increase its assets from $1 billion to $4 billion in five years. To do this, the bank would have to buy other businesses, open more branches, and give more money for business and real estate quickly. 

Peoples Heritage changed its structure in 1988 to become a bank holding company. This gave it more freedom to buy both banks and other businesses.

Purchases made during the period were:

  • Northeast Leasing Back in 1987
  • There were six Casco Northern Bank stores in 1989.
  • The First Coastal Bank in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, opened in 1989.
  • Bank of Merchants National in Dover
  • The First National Bank of Portsmouth opened in 1824.
  • the Oxford Bank & Trust Company from the Bank of Vermont. When the Bank of Boston bought the Bank of Vermont, it had to sell the Oxford Bank & Trust part because of rules.
  • Had a service for $100 million in personal trusts, which was the first time People’s Bank worked in this area.

A recession and a crisis

The Maine real estate market crashed in 1989. William J. Ryan took over as president and CEO during this tough time. Because of the slump in 1990, 111 banks in New England closed or merged. 

Peoples Heritage stock started to go down when big problems with bad loans started to show up, mainly in the real estate market but also in business. Peoples Heritage lost money from 1990 to 1992, thus federal officials forced the bank to stop lending and block their plans. 

Because of this, the management team was reorganized, and loans were given to special teams to review and restructure. To get rid of seized homes, the bank opened a unique retail real estate office in a storefront.

By the middle of 1992, recovery had begun. The bank had quickly cut down on its portfolio of loans that were not being paid back, and all trends in the quality of its assets were positive, which was good for its bottom line. 

The bank made money again in 1993, and in Q4 1992, it re-capitalized with a rights sale that brought in $38 million.

Recovery and growth

Peoples Heritage’s leaders got together in 1993 for a meeting to plan how the organization would grow in the future. Bill Ryan suggested increasing the bank’s assets by two times, to $5 billion, by buying up other community banks in the area and increasing its market share in Maine.

In the 1990s, the following purchases were made because of the plan:

  • Auburn, Maine’s Mid-Maine Savings in 1993
  • The North Conway Bank in North Conway, New Hampshire, in 1995 was run by Bankcore, Inc.
  • The Bank of New Hampshire was formed in 1875 and has assets worth $1.7 billion. It was the second largest bank in New Hampshire in 1995. People’s got bigger by a third, to $4.2 billion, after the purchase. It also proved that Peoples Heritage Bank was an actual business bank. The merger terms let The Bank of New Hampshire keep its name and the way it is run.
  • Haverhill, Massachusetts’s Family Bancorp in 1996
  • Atlantic Bancorp, based in Portland, Maine, had 15 branches and $470 million in assets in 1997.
  • CFX was founded in 1997 in Keene, New Hampshire. It was first called Cheshire County Savings Bank in 1897. People’s assets grew to $10 billion after the purchase. There were branches in New Hampshire that joined The Bank of New Hampshire and branches in Massachusetts that joined Family Bancorp.
  • The Springfield Institution for Savings (SIS) opened in 1998 in Springfield, Massachusetts, with assets of $1.8 billion. It was made up of Glastonbury Bank and Trust Company to represent Connecticut.
  • In 1999, a deal was made with the Banknorth Group of Burlington, Vermont (1870).

People’s turn into Banknorth

People took on the Banknorth name when it bought Banknorth, which was the biggest deal to date. The main office of Banknorth Group Inc. was in Burlington, Vermont. It owned Franklin Lamoille Bank (1899) in St. Albans and The Howard Bank N.A. Stratevest N.A. was born in 1870 in Burlington. 

They opened the Granite Savings Bank & Trust Company in 1885 in Barre, the Woodstock National Bank in 1802 in Woodstock, the First Vermont Bank & Trust Company in 1906 in Brattleboro, and the Farmington National Bank in 1854 in Farmington, New Hampshire. 

People’s assets grew to $17 billion after the merger, and the company had a bigger footprint in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York through Evergreen Bank (Glens Falls, 1853).

The merger took longer than planned because of governmental review, but on May 10, 2000, Banknorth Group Inc. of Portland, Maine was born. 

Banknorth bought eight separate community banks: Franklin Lamoille Bank N.A., The Howard Bank N.A., and First Vermont Bank N.A. in Vermont; Bank of New Hampshire under the charter of Farmington National Bank in New Hampshire; Oxford Bank & Trust, a division of Peoples Heritage Bank, and Peoples Heritage Bank in Maine; First Mass. Bank in Massachusetts; GBT, a division of First Mass Bank in Connecticut; and Evergreen Bank in New York.

It started repurchasing other banks. “As Banknorth spread across New England, the message stayed the same: community banking values combined with the resources of a large banking organization make a better bank,” the company said.

During that time, the following were bought:

  • In 2001, Andover Bancorp, a $1.8-billion company with 15 locations in Essex and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts,
  • In 2001, MetroWest had assets of just under $1 billion and 17 offices in the western neighborhoods of Boston.
  • In 2002, Ipswich Bancshares opened eight stores north of Boston.
  • Essex County, Massachusetts’s Warren Bancorp in 2002
  • In May 2002, Community Insurance Agencies, Inc.
  • Bancorp Connecticut, which had seven locations and $663 million in assets in 2002
  • In 2003, the American Savings Bank in New Britain, Connecticut, earned an extra $4 billion and opened 47 new stores in central Connecticut.
  • The parent company of Cape Cod Bank & Trust is CCBT Financial Companies. It has 26 stores in Barnstable and Plymouth Counties, Massachusetts, and has assets worth $1.4 billion.
  • The Boston Federal Savings Bank is a branch of BostonFed Bancorp, Inc. It has 16 locations in Middlesex, Norfolk, Essex, and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts, and has assets of $1.7 billion and savings of $1.2 billion.

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, the goal was to build a financial services business in a neighbourhood bank style. In 1997, the bank started what would become Banknorth Insurance Group and, by 2002, had become the largest insurance brokerage group in New England. 

Also by 2002, Banknorth Investment Management Group had grown from the trust business of the Bank of New Hampshire and Banknorth Vermont’s consolidated trusts operation, Strategist.

On December 31, 2001, Banknorth Group, Inc., a holding company, united its seven subsidiary banks into one bank, Banknorth NA. The new bank had one OCC charter and the Peoples Heritage Bank charter, which dates back to 1852. Using trade names that were appropriate for each state kept the local identity.

The purchase by TD

Around August 26, 2004, TD Bank Financial Group said it had reached a deal with Banknorth to buy 51% of the company’s shares for a total of $3.8 billion US.

At a special shareholders’ meeting on February 18, 2005, Banknorth shareholders accepted the deal. On March 1, 2005, the deal was officially approved. 

It was agreed that Banknorth would change its name to TD Banknorth Inc. and become a new company in Delaware. On April 20, 2007, Toronto-Dominion Bank bought the last of TD Banknorth’s shares.

Continuous Growth 

In July 2005, TD Banknorth announced that it had bought Hudson United Bank, which was based in Mahwah, New Jersey. Hudson United had previously bought several regional banks. 

With this purchase, TD Banknorth now has a much bigger foothold in Connecticut, New York, northern New Jersey, and Philadelphia. The deal was official on January 31, 2006, and all HUB sites were changed to TD Banknorth. Most of the places that used to be HUB are now TD Banknorth offices.


  1. Rooted in small savings banks in Maine and Vermont.
  2. Portland Savings Bank, People’s Savings Bank, Heritage Savings Bank, and Rockland Savings Bank were part of its history.
  3. Expanded through mergers and acquisitions, surviving economic challenges.
  4. Toronto-Dominion Bank acquired most of TD Banknorth in August 2004.
  5. Completed the acquisition of all remaining shares on April 20, 2007.
  6. Merged with Commerce Bank on April 10, 2008, forming TD Bank.


1. What was Banknorth, and how did it evolve into TD Bank?

Banknorth originated from small savings banks in Maine and Vermont. Over the years, through mergers and acquisitions, it evolved into TD Bank. Toronto-Dominion Bank acquired a majority stake in 2004, leading to complete ownership in 2007, and the institution was later renamed TD Bank.

2. When did TD Banknorth merge with Commerce Bank, and what changes resulted from this merger?

TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank merged on April 10, 2008, forming TD Bank, N.A. This merger resulted in a rebranding process, with all Commerce Bank branches and TD Banknorth offices outside of New England being given new names in the fall of 2008.

3. What areas did TD Banknorth primarily serve before the merger with Commerce Bank?

TD Banknorth had a significant presence in the northeastern United States, with its main office in Portland, Maine. It conducted banking and insurance business mainly in the New England region.

4. How did TD Bank, N.A. expand its footprint after acquiring Hudson United Bank in 2005?

The acquisition of Hudson United Bank in 2005 significantly increased TD Bank, N.A.’s presence in Connecticut, New York, northern New Jersey, and Philadelphia. All Hudson United Bank locations were changed to TD Banknorth branches.

5. What were some of the challenges faced by Peoples Heritage Bank, and how did it overcome them in the early 1990s?

Peoples Heritage Bank faced challenges due to the Maine real estate market crash in 1989. By 1993, the bank had recovered by restructuring its loan portfolio, cutting down on non-performing loans, and implementing positive asset management strategies.

6. How did TD Bank, N.A. focus on growth in the 1990s and early 2000s?

TD Bank, N.A. focused on growth through strategic acquisitions of community banks in various regions. The bank expanded its footprint in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, and other areas, ultimately becoming a significant financial institution in the northeastern United States.

7. What changes occurred in the legal and operational aspects of TD Bank, N.A. in 2008?

In May 2008, the legal name of TD Bank, N.A. was officially established. Additionally, in the fall of 2008, all Commerce Bank branches and TD Banknorth offices outside of New England were given new names as part of a rebranding effort.

8. Are there any notable milestones in the history of the banks that eventually formed TD Bank, N.A.?

Yes, several banks, including Portland Savings Bank, People’s Savings Bank, Heritage Savings Bank, and others, played pivotal roles in the formation and evolution of TD Bank, N.A. These banks had roots dating back to the 19th century and underwent mergers that shaped the institution’s history.

9. How did TD Bank, N.A. navigate the economic challenges of the late 1980s and early 1990s?

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, TD Bank, N.A. (formerly Peoples Heritage Bank) faced economic challenges, including the Maine real estate market crash. The bank successfully navigated these challenges through reorganization, restructuring, and a focus on positive asset management, leading to recovery by 1993.

10. What distinguishes TD Bank, N.A. in terms of its approach to community banking and regional expansion?

TD Bank, N.A. emphasizes community banking values while leveraging the resources of a large banking organization. Its growth strategy includes acquisitions of community banks, allowing it to maintain a local identity while offering a broad range of banking services.

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