Reaffirming Commerce's Model -- and Then Some

Rieker, Matthias
July 2003
American Banker;7/14/2003, Vol. 168 Issue 133, p1
Trade Publication
Nothing less grand than New York's Radio City Music Hall seemed appropriate as the venue for Commerce Bancorp Inc.'s 30th anniversary celebration. Chairman Vernon W. Hill has made it his personal mission to prove Commerce is a different kind of bank, and extravagance is one of its hallmarks. So on June 28, 2003 he gathered about 5,000 of its 8,700 employees in New York, 86 miles from its Cherry Hill, New Jersey, headquarters, at a party. Hill said that deposits are used to fund the building of branches or invested in securities, many of them mortgage-backed. Since 1973, and especially in the last three years, Commerce has built an ever-mushrooming network of branches focused more on aesthetics than efficiency. From 2000 to 2002 it doubled its deposits, to $16.4 billion. As of March 31, 2003 the $17.8 billion-asset company had $9.2 billion of asset-backed securities on its balance sheet.


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