Banking & Finance

TD Bank Brings Trend To Leland

By Jenny Callison, posted Apr 5, 2024
Mitchell Snider (from left), store supervisor; Mike Berkovich, store manager; and Norman Coggins, assistant store manager, are shown in the new TD Bank location in Leland. (Photo by Jenny Callison)
Thanks to the growth of online and mobile banking, most financial institutions are slimming down their bricks-and-mortar presence. Not so TD Bank, at least in North Carolina and other locations in the Southeastern U.S. In early March, the New Jersey-based bank opened its third Wilmington-area branch in Leland. That’s part of a trend for the bank.

Last May, TD CEO Bharat Masrani announced the bank planned to open 150 new branches by 2027, largely in high-growth communities in South Florida, Atlanta and North Carolina. That expansion has already begun: TD entered the greater Charlotte market in May and now has five locations there.  

TD, which has a strong presence in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S., senses opportunity as residents of those regions flock to warmer climes.

“You see the numbers and the increase of people relocating to the South,” said Linda McGuigan, TD’s retail market president, Mid-South Metro. When the Leland branch held its grand opening, she was surprised at how many people who attended were existing TD customers. 

“They told us how grateful they were that we had opened a bank in Leland,” she said. “They had their entire banking relationships with us and had been driving to [the branch in] Wilmington.”

Mike Berkovich has heard similar sentiments.

“The feedback from the community has been, ‘Thank God you’re here. We’ve been waiting,’” said Berkovich, the Leland TD manager. “Since we opened, it’s been crazy busy. Our grand opening turnout was incredible.”

Much of the branch’s early traffic consists of residents of Brunwick Forest, Compass Point, Magnolia Greens and Waterford. Many of those people are transplants from places like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, where TD is open seven days a week. In Leland, the branch is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday – the only financial institution in town to offer Saturday hours, according to Berkovich.

Berkovich said the branch has also welcomed new customers, people who are taking advantage of TD’s Certificate of Deposit special, the new branch raffle and bonuses, plus its home equity and mortgage discounts.

What accounts for the loyalty of TD’s existing customers? McGuigan said the bank invests in the capabilities that customers want. That starts with cross-training so any staffer can help with any customer request. This flexibility is reflected in the design of what – formerly – would be called the teller counter. In Leland, these stations are modular and can rise to accommodate a simple transaction or lower to a seating height. 

McGuigan credits the bank’s intensive cross-training with forging and maintaining personal relationships with customers. Berkovich, who has years of banking experience, said TD hired him in September and he trained for nearly six months in Wilmington prior to opening the new branch.

“When you bring in employees before the opening to cross-train them, you can role-play with them,” McGuigan said. “They can then work with the customer who doesn’t understand mobile banking, show them how to download the app, use the ATM, give them any other option when it comes to the self-serve part of [banking]. Basically, it’s what [the customer] prefers; what channel do they prefer in banking with us.”

Asked if TD’s Southeastern culture or strategies are different from those in its well-established northern territory, McGuigan said the bank’s culture is to meet customers where they live.

“Someone in Miami, for example, is going to have a different expectation than someone elsewhere,” she added. “That’s respected. This organization respects each of our markets. It’s important to hire people from the area; that provides another level of comfort. But there’s an underlying culture at the bank, and it’s very customer-centric.”

Berkovich has assembled and cross-trained the new team, which consists of Norman Coggins, Tianna DeJesus, Kwan Hicks, Nickie Jimeno, Samuel Morris and Mitchell Snider. Jimeno can provide Spanish-language service.

TD is well on its way to accomplishing its goal of a bevy of new North Carolina branches by 2027.

“When you look at North Carolina, we’ve got 17 retail locations now,” she said. “We opened five stores in Charlotte in 2023 and we’re looking forward to expanding our retail presence. We could not have been more welcomed.”   
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