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Robert Trigaux

After Colonial Bank deal, BB&T challenge greatest in Florida: hometown newspaper



BB&Tlogo Wake up and good morning. Interestingly, the North Carolina hometown newspaper of BB&T, the Winston-Salem Journal, wrote a story Sunday that says the bank -- fresh from the takeover of failed Alabama's Colonial Bank -- will have particularly daunting marketing challenges in Florida. And specifically in three metro areas: Miami, Orlando and Tampa Bay. Here's BB&T "Welcome" page to Colonial customers.

The Miami challenge? Culture. "Clearly south Florida is the key for BB&T since it is the real plum of the deal," independent bank consultant and economist Ken Thomas, who follows the Florida marketplace from Miami, told the Journal. BB&T has marketed to Hispanics In the past but in other markets where the heritage is Mexican. Not so in South Florida, so BB&T will have to be sensitive to such a big difference.

The Orlando challenge: sheer competition with well established SunTrust, Bank of America and Wells Fargo (operating for now as Wachovia).

And what of Tampa Bay? The main issue is consolidation, according to the Journal story. BB&T had $1.3 billion in deposits in this market while Colonial had $1.4 billion. Together, BB&T is now No. 5 in area market share.

In branches, there are a combined 62 in the market, including 28 from Colonial. The Journal story suggest BB&T is "likely to face its stickiest integration challenge" here. "It also could be the market where BB&T has the most cost-cutting potential because of local overlap of services and staffing." Here's the complete Journal story.

Statewide, BB&T is No. 5 with 306 branches and $14.1 billion in deposits. That's nearly $4 of every $100 deposited in the state.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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