Dive Brief:

  • BB&T finalized its $28 billion purchase of SunTrust on Friday, completing a deal which will form Truist, the sixth-largest bank in the nation.
  • The transition to the new Truist brand could take up to two years, the company said in a statement. Truist will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, where 2,000 former BB&T and SunTrust employees will relocate.
  • “This is not [an] abrupt, major change,” Truist CEO and former BB&T CEO Kelly King told the Charlotte Observer, adding that Truist expects to roll out its logo and branding early next year. “This is a seamless coming together of two great companies.”

Dive Insight:

The completion of the deal marks the largest bank merger since the 2007-08 financial crisis.

The potential impact of the deal, which was announced in February, spawned a House Financial Services Committee hearing in July.

King and then-SunTrust Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers, who is now the president and chief operating officer of Truist, faced questions from panel members who expressed concerns that the combined bank would result in branch closures and consolidations.

The CEOs of both banks said the deal would allow the new Truist entity to invest in more technology to help it remain competitive.

To satisfy regulators, the banks announced last month that SunTrust would sell 30 branches to First Horizon Bank, which included $2.4 billion in deposits.

Clients will continue to be served through their respective BB&T or SunTrust branches, websites, mobile apps, financial advisers and relationship managers, Truist said.

Customers can use BB&T and SunTrust ATMs to make withdrawals without incurring out-of-network fees, the company said in a release.

As the new entity moves forward with its rebranding and relocation, it won’t be all smooth sailing.

The company faces a legal challenge by Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Truliant Federal Credit Union, which filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in June over the Truist name. The credit union argues the branding will create customer confusion.

“We see difficulty for consumers who can’t distinguish between our names, given the direct geographic overlap in our respective markets,” the credit union said in a statement. “The Truist name is a clear infringement.”

The lawsuit is “not deterring” Truist’s rebranding efforts, said King, who has asked the court to dismiss the case.