The merger between Atlanta-based SunTrust and Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T has been completed, creating the nation’s sixth-largest bank, serving about 10 million consumer households, officials of the combined company announced Monday.
The merged bank, now named Truist, is based in Charlotte, although Atlanta retains the corporate and investment banking division and the community bank headquarters will remain in Winston-Salem.
“This is a historic moment for Truist – a financial services organization created from two companies with shared values and a deep commitment to building a better future for our clients and communities,” said Kelly King, the merged bank’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement released Monday morning.
SunTrust, based in its namesake tower on Peachtree Street, had been Georgia’s largest bank.
In metro Atlanta, SunTrust was first in both deposits and the number of branches. But BB&T also had a sizeable presence, ranking fourth in total deposits and retail locations. SunTrust has said it would continue its longterm sponsorships of a number of Atlanta area organizations, including the Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia Aquarium.
When the companies announced the merger in February, bank officials said they expected to find cost reductions of $1.6 billion annually.
Because the banks’ coverage overlaps, that implies branch closures and layoffs. About 740 of the banks’ more than 3,000 branches are located within two miles of each other
The companies have already closed a number of branches as business shifts online.
Officials said that the transition to the Truist brand will take about two years, eventually extending to bank branches and office towers, as well as to the Atlanta Braves stadium in Cobb County. In the meantime, bank officials said customers of SunTrust and BB&T will continue to use their current branches, websites, mobile apps, checks and payment cards.
For information, bank officials directed customers to Truist.com.
Officials said the merged bank will make good on previously announced plans to support low- and moderate-income communities by lending to borrowers and small businesses, as well as support of local groups.
Truist said Monday it “will fulfill a financial commitment of $17.4 million annually for Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the Piedmont Triad community, and $100 million annually for the Atlanta community.”
The pact was approved by shareholders earlier this year. In early November, the U.S. Department of Justice signed off after the banks agreed to sell 30 branches, the largest such divestiture in more than a decade.
Two of the locations were in Georgia: Jesup and Dahlonega. The rest were in North Carolina and Virginia.
In recent weeks, the final obstacles were cleared as regulators from the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation granted approval to the plan.
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