BB&T and SunTrust announced Thursday a planned $66 billion merger to create what would be the sixth-largest bank in the United States in terms of assets and deposits.
"Both companies' boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals," SunTrust Banks, Inc. and BB&T Corporation said in a joint statement.
The combined company will operate under a new name and brand that will be finalized before the deal closes, the banks said.
The new entity will have its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it will include an innovation and technology center designed to provide impetus for "digital transformation."
The tie-up will create an institution with roughly $442 billion in assets, $301 billion in loans and $324 billion in deposits that is already providing services to upwards of 10 million US households, according to the statement.
BB&T and SunTrust said they expect the merger to be concluded in the fourth quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approval and consent from shareholders of both companies.
"This is a true merger of equals, combining the best of both companies to create the premier financial institution of the future," BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King said.
His counterpart at SunTrust, William H. Rogers Jr., said that the combination "will accelerate our capacity to invest in transformational technologies for our clients."
"Our shared culture embraces the disruption of technology and we will take this innovative mindset to expand our leadership in the next chapter of these historic brands," the SunTrust boss said.
BB&T's King is to serve as chairman and CEO of the new company Sept. 12, 2021, when he will become executive chairman for a period of six months before taking a seat on the board.
Rogers will hold the position of president and chief operating officer until he succeeds King as CEO in 2021.
The BB&T and SunTrust deal represents the largest banking merger in the United States since the financial crisis of 2008 and follows moves by President Donald Trump to loosen the regulations imposed on the sector in the wake of the meltdown.
The announcement was well received by investors on the New York Stock Exchange, where shares of BB&T climbed 2.5 percent and the price of SunTrust stock surged 8.5 percent.