HFSC discusses megabank merger at BB&T/SunTrust hearing

July 24, 2019

The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the merger of BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Bank entities with testimonies from Kelly S. King, Chairman and CEO, BB&T Corporation, and William H. Rogers, Jr., Chairman and CEO, SunTrust Banks, Inc.

During the hearing, Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) addressed King to ensure that the megabank would be committed to diversity and inclusion. Chairwoman Waters has continued to make diversity and inclusion a tentpole of the committee’s oversight of financial service providers, this year.

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) questioned if the rationale behind the merger was to compete internationally with some of the larger banks in the world, but both witnesses said they were not, citing their focus on continuing to serve rural communities, small businesses, and entrepreneurs.

The new BB&T/SunTrust entity will be known as “Truist Financial Corp” and will be headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., but it will continue to have operations out of BB&T's current headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., and SunTrust's Atlanta, GA. headquarters. Truliant has 15 locations in the greater Winston-Salem region and 13 locations in the Charlotte-Metro region.

This spring, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle addressed the emergency big bank merger in an opinion editorial for CU Journal, calling out the $21 billion windfall banks saw in 2018, and the recently announced merger that would create the sixth largest bank in the country.

“A strong financial system, not increased profits for bank stockholders, benefits American consumers. We are pleased to see that Congress is analyzing this with a microscopic lens,” Nussle said. “When credit unions merge, members and their communities win. When big banks merge, stockholders win once again at the expense of communities that often find themselves with fewer options.”