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BB&T Corporation
Founded1872; 149 years ago (1872)
FoundersAlpheus Branch
Thomas Jefferson Hadley[1]
DefunctDecember 6, 2019 (as an independent corporation)
FateMerged with SunTrust
SuccessorTruist Financial
HeadquartersBB&T Financial Center
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.
Number of locations
2,781 branches[2]
Key people
Kelly King
Chairman and CEO
ProductsCommercial and Consumer banking
Investment banking

BB&T Corporation (previously known as the Branch Banking and Trust Company) was one of the largest banking and financial services firms in the United States, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2019, BB&T announced its intentions to merge with Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks to form Truist Financial.


In 1872, Alpheus Branch and Thomas Jefferson Hadley founded the Branch and Hadley merchant bank in their hometown of Wilson, North Carolina. After many transactions, mostly with local farmers, Branch bought out Hadley's shares in 1887 and renamed the company Branch and Company, Bankers.[3] Also in 1887 the bank moved to its new headquarters on Nash Street in downtown Wilson, North Carolina.[4] Two years later, Branch, his father-in-law Gen. Joshua Barnes, Hadley, and three other men secured a charter from the North Carolina General Assembly to operate the Wilson Banking and Trust Company. After many more name changes, the company finally settled on the name Branch Banking and Trust Company. Branch remained an active member of the company until his death in 1893. The 1903 Branch Banking and Trust Company Building at Wilson was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[3]

BB&T sold Liberty Bonds during World War I and grew to have more than $4 million in assets by 1923. BB&T Insurance Services was added in 1922 and a mortgage division was added in 1923. Even though banks across the United States failed as a result of the 1929 Stock Market Crash, BB&T survived; it was the only one to do so in the town of Wilson.[5]

The CEO until 2008 was John A. Allison IV.

BB&T/SunTrust merger[edit]

On February 7, 2019, It was reported that Winston-Salem-based BB&T and Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks would come together in a merger of equals to create the eighth-largest US bank. It would be the biggest bank deal since the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The bank also announced the move of its headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina, retaining significant operations in Winston-Salem.[6][7] It was subsequently announced that Winston-Salem would be the bank's headquarters for community banking, while Atlanta would be the hub for wholesale / retail banking.[8]

On June 12, BB&T and SunTrust announced that the merged company would be called Truist Financial Corporation.[9] This name resulted from research that included hiring Interbrand, seeking opinions of employees of both banks, and focus groups.[10] The new name drew criticism from analysts and customers of both banks on social media.[11][12]

On June 17, Truliant Federal Credit Union of Winston-Salem filed suit claiming "trademark infringement", complaining of potential confusion between the two companies’ respective names, including Truliant products with "Tru" in their names.[10] The parties agreed to dismiss claims on August 5, 2020 and the lawsuit was closed the next day.[13]

The merger was completed at midnight December 6, 2019.[14] BB&T CEO Kelly King retained the same position with the new company. Customers of both banks were given free access to all of Truist's ATMs free of charge.[15] The merged bank will continue to operate under the BB&T and SunTrust names until the two banks' computer hardware, software and networking systems are streamlined, a process that could take as long as two years.[16] Due to delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Truist announced in April 2021 that core conversion to combine the branches will be performed in early 2022.[17] However, on the day the merger closed, SunTrust Bank merged into Branch Banking & Trust Company, forming Truist Bank as the merged company's legal banking entity.

On December 11, 2019, Truist officially exercised its option to purchase Hearst Tower in downtown Charlotte from Cousins Properties. Truist moved its corporate headquarters to Hearst Tower, which was renamed to Truist Center.[18] Truist had taken over 550,000 square feet (51,000 m2) of 965,000 square feet (89,700 m2) total.[19] The bank announced the deal was completed March 31, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, further actions will be delayed.[20]

Truist unveiled its logo in January 2020, with two Ts representing touch and technology, and a shade of purple combining the blue of SunTrust and the burgundy of BB&T.[21] In November 2020, the bank used helicopters to lift up four signs to the top of the former Hearst Tower. The "Truist" wordmark appears on the North Tryon Street and North College Street sides of the building, while the other two sides displayed the Truist logo. This signage has caused a lot controversy, even leading the building's original architect to refer to the signage as vandalism.[22]

In February 2020, Truist announced it would be launching a nonprofit foundation called the Truist Foundation.[23]

In March 2020, Truist announced it would vacate its former headquarters building in Winston-Salem except for a branch office and would move employees in its community/retail hub to other locations in the city, including the Park Building on Cherry Street and two locations on Stratford Road.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Our account a History of BB&T. BB&T. 2012. p. 26.
  2. ^ "Truist Financial Corporation 2020 Form 10-K Annual Report" (PDF). Truist Financial Corporation.
  3. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  4. ^ Our account a History of BB&T. BB&T. 2012. p. 25.
  5. ^ "Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T)". North Carolina History Project. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  6. ^ Craver, Richard (February 11, 2019). "New name for BB&T-SunTrust may help deliver new identity to customers, marketplace". Winston-Salem Journal.
  7. ^ "BB&T and Suntrust to combine in an all-stock merger of $66 billion". CNBC. Reuters. February 7, 2019.
  8. ^ Craver, Richard (February 10, 2019). "BB&T headquarters move to Charlotte stings but silver lining could be more local jobs". Winston-Salem Journal.
  9. ^ Allison Prang (June 12, 2019). "Truist Financial Is New Name for Combined BB&T, SunTrust". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ a b Trubey, J. Scott (June 19, 2019). "SunTrust and BB&T sued by N.C. credit union over 'Truist' name". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  11. ^ Streeter, Bill (June 18, 2019). "Truist Bank: Colossal Rebranding Misstep? Or Long-Term Winner?". The Financial Brand.
  12. ^ Sheetz, Michael (June 13, 2019). "New name for BB&T-SunTrust bank lampooned: 'You could put this on a brand of toothpaste'". CNBC.
  13. ^ Craver, Richard (August 11, 2020). "Truliant, Truist trademark lawsuit is closed". Winston-Salem Journal.
  14. ^ Craver, Richard (December 7, 2019). "Truist debuts with high expectations of low transition impact on BB&T, SunTrust customers". Winston-Salem Journal.
  15. ^ Craver, Richard (December 9, 2019). "Truist CEO: Most customers won't see any account changes". Winston-Salem Journal.
  16. ^ Danielle Chemtob (December 9, 2019). "BB&T, SunTrust finish merger to become Truist in 'seamless' change. Here's what's next". The Charlotte Observer.
  17. ^ Hudson, Caroline (15 April 2021). "Truist Financial execs on latest progress in post-merger integration". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  18. ^ Chemtob, Danielle; Weinstein, Austin (11 December 2019). "Truist buys uptown tower for record $455 million as bank builds Charlotte presence". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  19. ^ Craver, Richard (December 11, 2019). "Truist takes little time to buy Charlotte headquarters building, rename it Truist Center". Winston-Salem Journal.
  20. ^ Craver, Richard (2020-04-02). "Truist completes $455.5M purchase of Charlotte HQ; bank delays new branding unveilings". Winston-Salem Journal.
  21. ^ Craver, Richard (January 13, 2020). "What will Truist look like? Bank unveils its new logo and color scheme". Winston-Salem Journal.
  22. ^ Weinstein, Austin (7 December 2020). "Truist put its name on its new HQ. The building's architect called it vandalism". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Truist Financial Corp. launches nonprofit foundation". Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  24. ^ Craver, Richard (2020-03-05). "Truist moving offices out of former BB&T headquarters, will keep branch location there". Winston-Salem Journal.