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Washington Should Shine Light on SunTrust BB&T Merger

Feb. 7, 2019

Washington Should Shine Light on SunTrust BB&T Merger

Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: Today, regional banking giants SunTrust Banks, Inc. and BB&T Corp. announced a merger, creating a financial institution with $442 billion in deposits, making it the sixth largest bank holding company in the nation.

At a time when four banks control nearly half of all Americans’ checking accounts, regulators and Congress should scrutinize the SunTrust-BB&T merger.

If the business case for this merger is premised on expanding market share to raise fees and rates, that harms consumers. The last thing the nation needs is another bank that is too big to fail. Meanwhile, employees can expect pink slips, as the firms announced they expect to save $1.6 billion through what they euphemistically call “synergies.”

Congress and regulators should use this merger to examine when banks become too big, as this won’t be the last proposed major deal.