American Banker: BB&T, SunTrust clear key hurdle on road to merger

American Banker, May 3, 2019: BB&T, SunTrust clear key hurdle on road to merger

Dozens of groups involved in community development lending on Friday praised the potential benefits of the pending merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks, but a small number of leaders raised concerns about potential job losses in certain communities.

At the second public hearing for the deal, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, about 70 groups were scheduled to offer their views on the combination. Most of the scheduled speakers led or worked for organizations that foster lending and redevelopment in low-income communities or promote financial literacy.

If the merger is approved, BB&T and SunTrust will have a responsibility to address the rising wealth gap in the country, said John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

“BB&T and SunTrust have offered what appears to be sincere commitments to community credit needs,” Taylor said. “But we will see what’s in writing at the end of the day.”

Taylor, who said that he neither supported nor opposed the merger, said he agreed with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, that the FDIC must have a full five-member board to issue a ruling on the merger.

“The full board needs to look at the magnitude of this merger,” Taylor said.

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