Regulatory authorities approve Suntrust merger with BB&T

Federal bank regulators on Tuesday approved the merger of SunTrust Banks and competing BB&T, removing the last hurdle for financial giants to merge into the nation's sixth largest bank.

Atlanta-based SunTrust and Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T announced plans in February to merge. The combined bank will be based in Charlotte, although Atlanta will retain the business and investment banking division of what will become known as Truist Bank.

The board of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation gave approval, and the banks said in a news release that they expect the agreement to be completed on December 6, the companies said in a news release.

"We are pleased to have received government approval to merge two strong companies with complementary business models and a high level of cultural alignment," said BB&T Chairman and CEO Kelly King, who retains the two roles with Truist.

U.S. The Department of Justice announced earlier this month following an antitrust review that resulted in the sale of bank branches in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Based on the nameplate of Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, SunTrust is Georgia's largest bank. It is No. 1[ads1] in metro Atlanta in terms of deposits and second in total number of branches. BB&T, which has a regional hub in Atlantic Station, ranks fourth on total deposits and retail in the metro area.

When the companies announced the merger in February, executives said they expected to find cost reductions of $ 1.6 billion annually by 2022. Overlap in the markets that banks serve will undoubtedly mean closures and layoffs of branches like the two behemoths combines.

SunTrust and BB&T customers will continue to do business with their current branch networks, websites, mobile apps, checks and debit cards. The conversion of banks to the Truist brand is expected to take place in about two years.

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"We will build on our mission and goal-driven cultures and work to ensure a positive experience for our customers," said SunTrust Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers in the release. Rogers will be Truist's president and CEO before succeeding King as CEO in September 2021.

"After months of thoughtful collaborative planning, we are prepared to begin a successful integration," Rogers said.