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BB&T continues to integrate Colonial Bank into its fold

BB&T is in the home stretch of bringing the failed Colonial Bank into its financial family.

The North Carolina bank has identified 15 overlapping branches that it will close in the Tampa Bay area, leaving it a total of 48 bay area locations.

During Memorial Day weekend, it will convert all electronic networks and install permanent signage, a process that's being replicated the same weekend throughout all the Colonial branches that BB&T picked up in its biggest-ever acquisition.

Letters will be sent out later this month to customers of branches being closed, advising them of the nearest substitute branch. Until that happens, the bank is not identifying locations.

Most affected branches are within a mile of another location that will stay open, many across the street from each other, said J. Kenneth Coppedge, BB&T regional president for the bay area.

The combined BB&T-Colonial operation has about 455 area employees. No layoffs are expected as part of the consolidation, Coppedge said.

Overall, BB&T expects to close about 40 overlapping branches in a four-state area, not including up to 30 Colonial locations in Nevada that were already sold.

Typically, banks anticipate some runoff in deposits during an acquisition. This time, with rumors of a financial collapse building, Colonial lost deposits in its final weeks. When the FDIC brokered the deal for BB&T to buy Colonial's assets, BB&T wound up adding several hundred million dollars in deposits statewide after the deal closed.

The new BB&T is doubling its Florida presence through the deal. In the bay area, it catapults from 12th largest to fifth largest, with about 6 percent of deposits.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at jharrington@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8242. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jeffmharrington.

BB&T continues to integrate Colonial Bank into its fold 03/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 8:38pm]
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