TCF Financial is the holding company for TCF National Bank, which offers retail and small-business services through more than 430 locations. The bank is active mainly in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, but has been pushing into faster-growing states like Arizona and Colorado. TCF provides standard services such as checking and savings accounts, CDs, consumer and business loans, mortgages, and insurance, and is a leading issuer of Visa debit cards. Residential mortgages account for nearly half of the company's loan and lease portfolio. TCF also offers specialized lending services such as commercial leasing, equipment finance, inventory finance, and indirect auto loans across the US.
TCF aims to attract customers through convenience. To that end, more than half its branches are inside supermarkets, and many of its locations are open seven days a week. While many of the company's peers attempt to grow their branch networks through acquisitions, TCF has expanded by opening up new branches -- more than 100 since 2003.
Campus banking is also an important part the company's strategy. TCF has exclusive marketing alliances with several colleges, including the University of Illinois and University of Michigan, and is a leading provider of campus cards that serve as ID, library, security, and stored-value cards in addition to ATM cards. Also as a part of its effort to build brand recognition on college campuses, the company paid $35 million for the naming rights to the University of Minnesota's football stadium, which opened in 2009, for 25 years.
In order to reduce its reliance on interest-based income such as loans and leases, which are subject to interest rate fluctuations and other outside factors, TCF Financial is focusing on growing its income from fees and service charges from products like checking accounts and credit cards. The company eliminated its Totally Free Checking product, but the move contributed to increased attrition from checking customers and, coupled with new overdraft fee regulations, a decrease in retail banking-based fee revenue in 2011. Not coincidentally, TCF's overall revenue and net income dipped during the year, as well.
Meanwhile, the company has experienced growth in its specialty finance operations, including TCF Equipment Finance, TCF Inventory Finance, and Winthrop Resources, which leases computers, servers, and other technology equipment. TCF continued to grow the business in 2011 when it bought California-based Gateway One, a provider of consumer loans, mainly for used cars. The company began providing inventory financing services in Canada in 2008. – less