American Banker: House lawmakers go light on BB&T-SunTrust merger

American Banker, July 24, 2019: House lawmakers go light on BB&T-SunTrust merger

The proposed merger between BB&T and SunTrust Banks cleared another hurdle Wednesday as lawmakers questioning the companies’ chief executives showed little interest in slowing the deal.

Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee probed BB&T CEO Kelly King and SunTrust CEO William Rogers on how the merger would impact branch closures and jobs, and the quality of service for the combined bank’s consumers. But they stopped short of any calls to block the merger.

The merging banks and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition recently agreed to a new $60 billion “community benefits plan.”

Despite concerns about the overall consolidation of the banking industry and its impact on consumers, numerous Democrats said they realize that the current regulatory system has led banks to merge.

King, who will be the CEO of Truist Financial if the merger is approved, said in his prepared testimony that the community benefits plan agreed to with the NCRC “exemplifies what Truist will stand for and how it will support local communities in the years to come.”

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