Sunday, June 7, 2015
The BB&T Corporation ( Branch Banking & Trust ) Financial History
BB&T dates back to 1872, when Alpheus Branch and Thomas Jefferson Hadleyfounded the "Branch and Hadley" merchant bank in their small hometown ofWilson, North Carolina. After many transactions, mostly with local farmers, Branch bought out Hadley's shares in 1887 and renamed the company to "Branch and Company, Bankers." Two years later, Branch, his father-in-law Gen. Joshua Barnes, Hadley, and three other men, secured a charter from theNorth Carolina General Assembly to operate the "Wilson Banking and Trust Company." After numerous additional name changes, the company finally settled on the name "Branch Banking and Trust Company". Branch remained an active member in the company until his death in 1893.
BB&T sold Liberty Bonds during World War I and grew to have more than $4 million in assets by 1923. An insurance division was added in 1922, followed by a mortgage division in 1923. As banks across the nation failed as a result of the1929 Stock Market Crash, BB&T survived; it was the only one to do so in the town of Wilson.
World War II revived BB&T. BB&T's prosperity continued into the 1960s and 1970s, as mergers and acquisitions grew the company to $343 million in assets with new branches in 35 cities. By 1994, BB&T had become North Carolina's largest bank with more than $10.3 billion in assets and 263 offices in 138 cities in the Carolinas, though it has since slipped to second behind Bank of America.
In 1995, BB&T and Southern National Bank, another bank with roots in the eastern part of the state, completed a "merger of equals." In an unusual arrangement, the holding company retained the Southern National name for a few years, but all of its banks took the BB&T name. This gave the new BB&T 437 branches in 220 cities in the Carolinas and Virginia. The bank continued to expand nationwide through the 1990s, purchasing Fidelity Financial Bankshares, First Financial of Petersburg, Maryland Federal Bancorp and Franklin Bancorporation in the Virginia/Maryland area. In 1999, BB&T acquired MainStreet Financial Corp. of Martinsville, Va., and Mason-Dixon Bancshares of Westminster, Md., and further expanded into Georgiaand West Virginia after purchasing First Liberty of Macon, Ga., and Matewan Bancshares. The latter deal made BB&T the largest bank in West Virginia, a position it has held on to since.
From 2000 to 2005, BB&T acquired numerous smaller banks, expanding intoTennessee, Kentucky, and even Florida. By Dec. 31, 2005, BB&T Corporation had secured $109.2 billion in assets; operated more than 1,500 banking offices in 11 states and the District of Columbia; and had more than 28,000 employees.
In early 2007 BB&T acquired Coastal Federal Bank which is primarily located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It has been one of the Carolinas' fastest growing banks. After BB&T's announcement of an opportunity for a "merger of equals" it was speculated that it would be a merger with either Regions Financial of Birmingham orFifth Third of Cincinnati.
In late 2008 the bank accepted $3.1 billion in bailout money through the sale of its preferred shares to the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program. The bank said in June 2009 that it had received approval to repurchase the shares. Also in June 2009, its chairman, John A. Allison IV delivered a keynote address to a meeting of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, where he claimed to show how government regulation caused the 2007–2009 financial collapse.
On August 14, 2009, it was announced that the deposits and loan accounts of theColonial Bank were being transferred to BB&T as part of Colonial Bank's receivership by the FDIC. This acquisition added more than 340 branches inAlabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Texas along with approximately $22 billion in assets. This moved BB&T Corporation to the 10th largest commercial bank in the United States based on assets. BB&T quickly flipped the Nevada branch to U.S. Bancorp (dropping it to 10th overall), but hung on to its Texas branches, despite the Texas branches being outside of its historical footprint. As of November 1, 2011, In acquiring BankAtlantic, BB&T acquired approximately $2.1 billion in loans and assume approximately $3.3 billion in deposits.