BB&T and SunTrust are planning a $60 billion community benefits plan, which includes lending to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and investment in LMI communities following the completion of two banks' $66 billion merger.
Under the new Truist name, the combined banks said they also plan to open at least 15 new branches in what they call "underserved neighborhoods," such as LMI or majority-minority communities.
- The banks say the three-year plan is a direct result of input received in listening sessions that were hosted in communities around the combined institutions' forecasted geographies, as well as comments shared during public meetings regarding the merger.
The $60 billion plan includes $31 billion for home purchase mortgage loans to LMI borrowers, LMI geographies, minority borrowers and/or majority-minority geographies; $7.8 billion for lending to small businesses; $17.2 billion in community development lending such as affordable housing development; and $3.6 billion in Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-qualified investments and philanthropy, of which $120 million will be designated for CRA-qualified philanthropic giving.
"The Community Benefits Plan exemplifies what Truist will stand for and how it will support local communities in the years to come," said BB&T Chairman and CEO Kelly King, who will be chairman and CEO of the combined bank for the first two years, with SunTrust CEO William Rogers serving as president and chief operating officer. Rogers will take over as Truist CEO after King.
News of the banks' Community Benefits Plan comes ahead of a House Financial Services Committee hearing July 24, where lawmakers will examine the proposed merger between BB&T and SunTrust.
The deal, which was announced in February and still subject to regulatory approval, would create a combined holding company named Truist Financial Corp. and would be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In May, Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), asked regulators to "defer any final decisions on the merger application" until after Congress examines it.
"The proposed merger is simply not between two small banks located in Georgia and North Carolina, but rather between two of our largest banks with a presence in numerous states and products and services being offered across the country," Waters wrote in a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Jelena McWilliams.
Waters expressed concern over how the merger would affect community banks, as well as employees and consumers in rural communities.