BB&T Corporation, headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., is among the nation's top financial-holding companies with $168 billion in assets and market capitalization of $14.9 billion, as of Sept. 30, 2011. Its bank subsidiaries operate approximately 1,800 financial centers in the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Texas and Washington, D.C. Market share rankings in deposits: No. 1 in West Virginia; No. 3 in the Carolinas and Virginia; No. 4 in Kentucky; No. 5 in Alabama, Florida and Georgia; No. 6 in Tennessee; No. 7 in Maryland and Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2010 FDIC Deposits, SNL). BB&T's operating strategy distinguishes it from other financial holding companies. BB&T's banking subsidiaries are organized as a group of community banks, each with a regional president, which allows decisions to be made locally, close to the client. This also makes BB&T's client service more responsive, reliable and empathetic.
Since 1995, BB&T has completed the acquisition of more than 35 community banks and thrifts, more than 85 insurance agencies, and 32 non-bank financial services companies. This acquisition strategy has contributed significantly to BB&T's success.
HQ Address: 200 West Second Street, 27101, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Alpheus Branch, the son of a wealthy planter in Halifax County, first came to Wilson to attend Deems Military Academy. After the war, he married Nannie Barnes, the daughter of Gen. Joshua Barnes, one of Wilson’s founders. Branch established a small mercantile business called Branch and Company. Through his business and community involvement, he came to know Thomas Jefferson Hadley, a Wilson county native who was trying to organize the first system of public schools. They joined forces in 1872 to create a banking institution people could believe in, Branch and Hadley. As private bankers, Branch and Hadley accepted time deposits, paid interest and loaned money to help rebuild the farms and small businesses in the community. With a place to borrow money at reasonable interest to buy seed and fertilizer, area farmers planted their fields in cotton and in the early 1880s, experimented with a new money crop, tobacco.
In 1887, Branch bought Hadley’s interest in the bank for $81,000 and changed its name to Branch and Company, Bankers.
In 1889, Branch, his father-in-law Gen. Barnes, Hadley, J.F. Bruton, R.L. Thompson and Walter Brodie secured a charter from the North Carolina Legislature to operate the Wilson Banking and Trust Company (later amended to the State Bank of Wilson and later to Branch Banking and Company). However, the charter was not implemented until 1900. Alpheus Branch died Jan. 3, 1893. The bank continued to grow in the years that followed. In 1900, Branch and Company, Bankers, was sold to Branch Banking and Company, holder of the state charter. On Dec. 20, 1902, the bank opened a savings department, paying four percent interest compounded quarterly. The new century saw expanding opportunities for BB&T. In 1913, the charter was amended to change the name to Branch Banking and Trust Company. In the 1960s, BB&T enjoyed unprecedented growth. With mergers, acquisitions and new branches, BB&T grew to $343 million in assets with 60 offices in 35 cities. BB&T continued to grow through the ’70s and ’80s. Assets reached $10.5 billion by 1994, with 263 offices in 138 cities in North and South Carolina. BB&T was North Carolina’s fourth largest bank. In 1995, BB&T and Winston-Salem-based Southern National Corporation, the state’s fifth largest bank-holding company, completed a “merger of equals,” resulting in 437 branches in 220 cities in the Carolinas and Virginia, all carrying the BB&T name. BB&T began to grow rapidly outside its stronghold in the Carolinas in the ’90s. In 1997, BB&T purchased Fidelity Federal Bankshares of Richmond, Va., and Virginia First Financial of Petersburg, Va. In 1998, BB&T acquired Maryland Federal Bancorp of Hyattsville, Md., and Franklin Bancorporation of Washington, D.C., giving BB&T its first entry into the Maryland and metropolitan-D.C. markets.
In 1999, BB&T completed the acquisition of MainStreet Financial Corp. of Martinsville, Va.; First Citizens Corp. of Newnan, Ga.; Mason-Dixon Bancshares of Westminster, Md.; Matewan Bancshares of Williamson, W.Va.; and First Liberty of Macon, Ga.
In 2000, BB&T completed its acquisition of Premier Bancshares of Atlanta, Ga., (January), followed by Dalton, Ga.-based Hardwick Holding Company and Statesboro, Ga.-based First Banking Company of Southeast Georgia (June). The acquisition of One Valley Bancorp Inc. of Charleston, W.Va., was completed in July, followed by BankFirst Corp. of Knoxville, Tenn., in December.
In 2001, BB&T completed its acquisitions of FCNB Corp. of Frederick, Md., and FirstSpartan Financial Corp. of Spartanburg, S.C. (both were completed in March). The acquisitions of Century South Banks of Alpharetta, Ga., and Virginia Capital Bancshares of Fredericksburg, Va., were completed in June. BB&T completed its acquisitions of F&M National Corp. of Winchester, Va., in August, and Community First Banking Company of Carrollton, Ga., in December.
The acquisitions of MidAmerica Bancorp of Louisville, Ky., and Area Bancshares of Owensboro, Ky., were completed in March 2002. In September 2002, BB&T completed its acquisition of Regional Financial Corporation (First South Bank) of Tallahassee, Fla. That same month, BB&T announced plans to acquire Equitable Bank of Wheaton, Md., and completed that acquisition in March 2003. In July 2003, BB&T completed the acquisition of First Virginia Banks Inc. of Falls Church, Va.
BB&T completed the acquisition of Republic Bancshares Inc. of St. Petersburg, Fla., in April 2004.
In 2006, BB&T completed the acquisitions of Main Street Banks Inc. of Atlanta, Ga., and First Citizens Bancorp of Cleveland, Tenn.
BB&T completed the acquisition of Coastal Financial Corporation of Myrtle Beach, S.C., in 2007.
BB&T announced it would purchase the personal and business deposits of Haven Trust Bank of Atlanta in an FDIC-assisted deal in December 2008.
In August 2009, BB&T acquired the banking operations of Colonial Bank of Montgomery, Ala., in an FDIC-assisted deal.