Toronto-Dominion Bank, the country's biggest bank by stock market value, announced Thursday a two-for-one stock split in a bid to make its shares more affordable.

"We expect these actions will be beneficial to our shareholders and for the Bank itself," said chairman Charles Baillie in a release.

"We also expect this will help ensure that the Bank's stock is more accessible to retail investors."

Last year, TD was fifth among the Big Five Canadian banks in stock value. But, in recent weeks it took the market crown from Royal Bank as investors came to value the potential in its Waterhouse brokerage unit's Internet trading capabilities.

The bank has a market value of about $22 billion, approximately $1 billion more than No.2 Royal.

TD Bank said it will effect the share split by paying a stock dividend of one share for each share held by its stockholders.

It also said there are no unfavourable Canadian or U.S. tax consequences and shareholders' equity will not be diluted in any way by the stock dividend.