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TD Bank takes No 1 position

Toronto-Dominion Bank of Canada has surpassed Royal Bank of Canada as the country’s largest lender by assets for the first time after a decade-long expansion in U.S. consumer lending. TD Bank reported $862.5 billion in total assets compared with $860.8 billion at Royal Bank, which held the top spot for most of the last century. Both companies are based in Toronto.

According to analysts, TD Bank has been focusing on retail banking, which typically involves lending and assets that fall onto the balance sheet, whereas Royal’s strategy has been more on expanding wealth management and capital markets, which are not driven by assets to the same degree. The bank’s climb has been fueled by acquisitions, including its takeover of Canada Trust parent CT Financial Services in 2000 and a U.S. expansion that began in 2004 when the lender agreed to buy a 51% stake in Portland, Maine-based Banknorth Group.

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