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BB&T-SunTrust deal may be the first of a wave of bank mergers

Mitchell Hartman Feb 7, 2019
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A Sun Trust bank flag flies above their bank in downtown Washington, DC.
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

BB&T Corp. is buying its competitor, SunTrust Banks, in an all-stock deal. The merger of the two southeastern U.S. regional banks is the biggest in the consumer-banking sector since the financial crisis. To some extent, the merger’s the product of the grow-or-die environment for consumer banks — that only by joining forces can the banks compete successfully against the likes of Citi and Bank of America and against emerging competition from PayPal, Apple, Google and other tech firms. But the deal’s also the product of the Trump administration’s policy of relaxing regulatory oversight of the consumer finance sector.

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