BB&T, Suntrust to merge as part of $66 billion deal

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: February 19, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.

VIRGINIA – Two financial institutions that have each become very recognizable brands across the Commonwealth over the last few decades will be joining forces as BB&T and SunTrust prepare to merge into one entity.

Last week, Bank Branch and Trust, known simply as BB&T and SunTrust announced their merger plans following both companies’ boards of directors unanimously approving an agreement to combine through an all-stock merger of equals valued at approximately $66 billion, with the combined entity slated to become the sixth-largest bank in America based on their assets and deposits once the merger is complete during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Following the merger, the yet-to-be-named combined financial institution will have, according to the company, “$442 billion in assets, $301 billion in loans, and $324 billion in deposits serving more than 10 million households in the United States,” with many financial analysts noting the merger is the largest since the late 2000s financial crisis.

Following last Thursday’s announcement, CEOs of both BB&T and SunTrust expressed their excitement for the future as a combined financial institution, while touting the benefits this merger will bring their customers.

“This is a true merger of equals, combining the best of both companies to create the premier financial institution of the future,” BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King said last week. “It’s an extraordinarily attractive financial proposition that provides the scale needed to compete and win in the rapidly evolving world of financial services. Together with Bill’s leadership and our new SunTrust teammates, we’re going to bring the best of both companies forward to serve our clients and communities.”

“By bringing together these two mission- and purpose-driven institutions, we will accelerate our capacity to invest in transformational technologies for our clients,” Suntrust Chairman and CEO William Rogers, Jr., said last week. “Our shared culture embraces the disruption of technology and we will take this innovative mindset to expand our leadership in the next chapter of these historic brands. With our geographic position, enhanced scale and leading financial profile, these two companies will achieve substantially more for clients, teammates, associates, communities, and shareholders than we could alone. I have tremendous respect for Kelly, his leadership team and the BB&T associates. We will leverage our respective strengths as we focus together on the future.”

As part of the merger, the companies’ boards of directors will be split evenly between the two institutions with a new corporate headquarters being established in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Among other benefits, they also note this merger will deliver “approximately $1.6 billion in annual net cost synergies by 2022,” with those cost savings expected to be in “facilities, information technology/systems, shared services, retail banking, and third-party vendors.”

With the transaction in the early stages, what remains unknown is if any branches of either bank will close or be consolidated into other locations.

According to their website, BB&T operates two branches in Sussex, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg, along with a single branch in northeastern Dinwiddie. SunTrust operates four branches, two in Petersburg, and one in Colonial Heights and Hopewell.

In any case, the companies expect to continue to provide the same levels of service within their branches in their individual communities.

“The combined company will preserve and maintain the strong cultures of both BB&T and SunTrust to deliver superior client service and preserve the community bank model to maintain close ties to shared local communities,” the company said during their announcement. “With its stronger position, it will also deliver a collective set of training, leadership, and development programs to attract and retain the industry’s top talent across its expanded career opportunities.”

BB&T operates more than 1,800 financial centers in 15 states and Washington, D.C, while SunTrust operates 1,400 branches in similar markets as BB&T.

Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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