BB&T Corporation and SunTrust Banks, Inc. announced a Truist Bank Community Benefits Plan under which the combined company will lend or invest $60 billion to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and in LMI communities over a three-year period from 2020 to 2022. The plan is a concrete example of the commitment of Truist Financial Corporation, the combined company to be created through their proposed merger of equals, and reflects BB&T’s and SunTrust’s continued commitment to supporting investment in their communities after the expected completion of the merger this fall.
The $60 billion three-year commitment 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 and to support the growth of businesses with revenues less than $1 million.
$17.2 billion in Community Development Lending (CDL) to support affordable housing development, small business growth lending to nonprofits that support the LMI community.
$3.6 billion in Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Qualified Investments and Philanthropy, of which $120 millionwill be designated for CRA-qualified philanthropic giving.
Additionally, Truist plans to further the legacy institutions’ commitment to underserved neighborhoods by seeking to open at least 15 new branches in LMI and/or majority minority communities across its future footprint.
The Community Benefits Plan is a direct result of input received in listening sessions that BB&T and SunTrust hosted in metro and rural communities around the combined institutions’ forecasted geographies, as well as comments shared during public meetings regarding the proposed merger.
“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 Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King. “Both BB&T and SunTrust have long legacies of serving the community, but together as Truist, we will be uniquely positioned to invest in ways we never could on our own. We have great partners with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), which helps our commitment for growing diverse and vibrant neighborhoods in the regions where we work and live.”
The support provided through the Truist Community Benefits Plan will benefit communities across the combined institutions’ footprint in Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
“Truist is creating the premier financial institution to serve the diverse needs of our clients and communities, and this plan is an initial stake in the ground as to our values and commitments. Our legacy companies share a strong history of being more than members of the communities we serve, but also partners in developing affordable housing, promoting financial literacy, and providing access to critical programs and services. Today’s announcement is a reflection of that history and a look ahead at what we can collectively achieve as one combined institution,” said SunTrust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William H. Rogers, Jr.
The plan was drafted in cooperation with the NCRC, an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to essential banking services, affordable housing, entrepreneurship, job creation and vibrant communities for America’s working families.
“Many bank mergers proceed without any detail on how communities will benefit from the combination,” said NCRC CEO Jesse Van Tol. “However, BB&T and SunTrust showed tremendous leadership by participating in a collaborative process with NCRC and our community-based member organizations to establish the largest-to-date community benefits plan. This plan spells out a substantive and detailed commitment of loans, investments and services to low- and moderate-income people and neighborhoods across 17 states and the District of Columbia.”
“This plan will provide a much-needed influx of investment into critical programs that improve affordable housing, mortgage lending, small business development and economic development projects to low- and moderate-income people and communities across most of the eastern half of the country,” said NCRC President and Founder John Taylor. “We very much appreciate the strong collaboration demonstrated by the executive leadership of BB&T and SunTrust, as well as the critical role our members played in our discussions with the banks.”
Truist will also continue the legacy institutions’ commitment to employing a diverse workforce to meet the financial services needs of their clients and communities. This is in addition to Truist’s continued support of supplier diversity and promotion of opportunities for women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses and small business vendors.
Truist will work with a Community Advisory Board composed of representatives of nonprofit organizations serving low- and moderate-income communities, with the goal of providing information and updates on the progress of the plan and obtaining input and feedback on emerging issues and challenges facing LMI families and communities.
In February 2019, BB&T and SunTrust announced a proposed merger of equals, which would result in the sixth-largest U.S. commercial bank based on assets and deposits. The merger is expected to close in the third or fourth quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval of both companies’ shareholders.