Truist completes merger to create country’s sixth-largest commercial bank

Truist completes merger to create country’s sixth-largest commercial bank

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read December 2019The banking industry welcomed the nation’s sixth-largest commercial bank earlier this month as regulatory authorities completed the merger between BB&T and SunTrust banks, now officially known as the Truist Financial Corporation. The new bank will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, while Atlanta retains its corporate and investment banking division. The conversion to the Truist brand will be phased out over two years as systems are integrated and will serve approximately 10 million U.S consumer households and businesses. The Truist brand will keep its predecessors’ philanthropic culture by contributing close to $100 million annually to various metro Atlanta community organizations over the next three years.  

“This is a historic moment for Truist – a financial services organization created from two companies with shared values and a deep commitment to building a better future for our clients and communities,” said former BB&T Corporation CEO and Truist Chairman Kelly King in a press release. “The completion of this merger of equals is a tremendous achievement and a testament to the thousands of Truist teammates who have diligently worked to ensure its timely conclusion.”

Truist will have the largest market share of any bank in metro Atlanta and will rank as one of the leading commercial banks in most of the major markets in its territory. Prior to the merger, SunTrust had been Georgia’s largest bank. “We have much work ahead of us, but we’re well-positioned to create meaningful change for the clients we serve and the communities where we live and work,” said former SunTrust CEO and Truist President William Rogers in a press release. 

To that end, its leaders announced a $60 billion community benefits plan in July earmarked for lending or investment in low- and moderate-income communities from 2020–2022. The commitment includes monies slated to help customers with home purchase mortgages and small business loans, as well as creating affordable housing developments and investments in local community redevelopment agencies across its markets.

Metro Atlanta can expect close to $100 million in community investments annually for the next three years. The community investments will support varying initiatives each year aimed at addressing the diverse needs of the region. Previously, SunTrust supported nonprofit organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta, YMCA of Metro Atlanta, as well as investing more than $10 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to help construct 175 units of affordable senior housing in greater Atlanta, according to its website.

As for the Atlanta Braves’ newly built home, SunTrust Park will keep its namesake for now.  Much like the systems integrations, the rebranding efforts, including BB&T and SunTrust sports related facilities, could take close to two years to bear the Truist name, per different reports. 

For now, clients can continue to use their perspective BB&T or SunTrust branches, websites, mobile apps, financial advisers and relationship managers, as well as use BB&T and SunTrust ATMs to make withdrawals without incurring out-of-network fees, Truist officials said. 

 

To learn more, visit: https://www.thepremierfinancialinstitution.com/

Banks increasing support for Philly’s growing small businesses sector

Banks increasing support for Philly’s growing small businesses sector

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read AUGUST 2019 — The economic environment in Philadelphia, with many world-class educational and healthcare institutions, a diverse population and affordable rents, represent an ideal space for entrepreneurs to start their small or medium-size businesses. At the heart of the small-business community is an industry that plays an essential role: banking.

 

Many Philadelphia banking leaders say they have seen increased demand for lending and other services from small businesses. “Philadelphia has long been home to successful small businesses, but in recent years the collaboration between the public, private and nonprofit sectors is spurring a new level of growth,” Robert Kane, market president at KeyBank, told Invest:. 

 

According to Kane, KeyBank ranks 13th among more than 1,800 SBA lenders nationally. In the last five years, the bank has loaned more than $1.13 billion to small businesses across its footprint.  

Similarly, Philadelphia is one of the largest portfolios in BB&T’s footprint for small business. In an interview with Invest:, Regional President Greater Delaware Valley/Lehigh Valley Region for BB&T Travis Rhodes explained that the number of small business clients the bank is serving in Philadelphia is disproportionately larger than any other market in BB&T’s footprint. As a result, it created the “Bank on Your Success” initiative, which is directed to this community. 

“This free financial knowledge program helps entrepreneurs begin to understand the value of an income statement, a balance sheet and other banking basics. When they begin to think about their kind of profitability, how to manage their short-term assets, receivables and inventory, this education is essential. That education is ultimately what prepares somebody to be able to withstand or to handle the next downturn, because it helps them understand the levers of a company,” Rhodes said. 

Some of the biggest challenges small businesses face are improving cash flow, reducing operating costs, improving financial wellness, balancing growth with quality and hiring and retaining talented employees. To help mitigate those challenges, Keybank has developed Key@Work, which is a comprehensive, no-cost employee financial wellness program. 

“We also have a program, Key4Women, that supports the financial progress of women in business. It’s a great program, offering mentorship opportunities, access to capital and professional development,” Kane said.  

The small-business sector also helps banks to maintain a local presence. “We have small-business relationship managers who know the people in the community and become the point of contact for growing their small-business loans. Business sales also come with a lot of deposits, and that’s been a very healthy growth vehicle for us over the last couple of years,” Rodger Levenson, CEO of WSFS Bank, said in an interview with Invest:. 

Small businesses also have a significant impact on Philadelphia’s employment. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia 2019: State of the City report, about 26% of private sector employees in the Philadelphia region worked in small businesses in 2017, a number that was typical for the comparison regions. Also, 17% of Philadelphia employees worked in firms with fewer than 19 employees, second-highest behind the Boston region.

“Small business continues to be the primary generator of jobs and economic activity, not just in Philadelphia but in our entire region. And we see significant growth in our small-business lending activity over the next few years,” Levenson said.  

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

KeyBank: https://www.key.com/small-business/index.jsp 

BB&T: https://www.bbt.com/small-business.html 

WSFS Bank: https://www.wsfsbank.com/Small-Business