No plans yet for Truist Jacksonville offices

(Courtesy Jax Daily Record) by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer
BB&T and SunTrust logos
BB&T and SunTrust, who are planning to merge, have a combined 38 branches in the area.

Truist Financial Corp. revealed the site for its new headquarters office in Charlotte, North Carolina, but the company is not ready to announce any decisions on its Jacksonville offices.

In case you missed it last week, Truist is the name chosen by SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp. for the company after their planned merger.

As they announced the name, they also announced plans to locate their headquarters in a 47-story tower in Charlotte.

The two banks have a combined 38 branches in the Jacksonville metropolitan area, according to the latest Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data, and both have presences Downtown.

BB&T’s main local office is in the BB&T Tower at 200 W. Forsyth St., while SunTrust recently moved out of an eponymous 23-story building at 76 S. Laura St. to the nearby Bank of America Tower at 50 N. Laura St.

Some overlapping offices will be closed when the merger is completed, expected later this year, but representatives of both companies said by email last week that no plans have been made for their Jacksonville operations.

“No determinations have been made as far as office space. Until the merger is approved we are two separate companies,” SunTrust spokesman Thomas Crosson said.

“Our combined leadership team is working together to determine the structure of the new organization, but it’s really too early to make any comments about our facilities,” said BB&T spokesman David White.

Office space was one of many details the companies needed to negotiate after agreeing to the $66 billion merger in February.  Atlanta-based SunTrust and Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T did announce at the time they would put the headquarters of the merged bank in Charlotte and come up with a new name.

“The hope is that a new name will help foster a new culture and a fresh start for the merged firm. Yet, the move comes with risks in terms of cost and confusion,” Wells Fargo Securities analyst Mike Mayo said in a research note after the name was announced.

“There is likely to be a lot of second-guessing on the name, evidenced by a series of unsolicited comments to us since the name came out,” he said.

Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Christopher Marinac said it’s not uncommon for banks to come up with a new identity after a merger.

“These changes may seem strange at first but with time are accepted and become normal,” Marinac said in his research note.

Marinac maintains a positive outlook for the merger.

“Investors must focus on the financial impact,” he said.


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