BB&T and SunTrust announce a merger

CONSOLIDATION HAS been a decades-long trend in American banking. In the years before the financial crisis giants were formed in a dizzying series of mergers and acquisitions. But since the crisis passed, the hook-ups have been between smaller banks; the presumption has been that big deals would be blocked on competition grounds. That big-deal drought has ended.On February 7th BB&T, headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and SunTrust, based in Atlanta, Georgia, announced that they are to merge. The new entity, valued at $66bn, will be small compared with the behemoths formed before the crisis, but vast compared with the mergers that followed. It will be America’s sixth-largest bank by assets, at $440bn, and heavily concentrated in the economically vibrant south-east of the country. Shares in both banks rose on the announcement.
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