Trust merger causes delays for SunTrust customers

SunTrust customers experienced some disruption in their transition to Trust products last weekend, the bank said.  The Charlotte-based combination of SunTrust and BB&T is making a complete switch to its new name this month.

SunTrust customers experienced some disruption in their transition to Trust products last weekend, the bank said. The Charlotte-based combination of SunTrust and BB&T is making a complete switch to its new name this month.

Knikouyeh@charlotteobserver.com

Trust took another step toward wrapping up its multi-year merger of SunTrust and BB&T over the long holiday weekend — with some disruption for customers.

While transitioning SunTrust clients to Trust products over the weekend, the bank said some people experienced a delay in the ability to use their new Trust-branded debit cards after they were activated. The issue was resolved Monday, the bank said.

The bank did not disclose the number of customers that were hit by the delays, though it was a “limited” number, Truist said in a statement to the Observer.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused for those clients and appreciate their patience as we transitioned SunTrust products to Trust over the weekend,” the bank said.

But dozens of customers took to social media to complain about the problem. They said the delay led to their cards being declined and caused trouble accessing their funds and making purchases on a bank holiday for President’s Day when branches were closed.

‘Activated my new Trust debit card only to have it declined everywhere I’ve tried,’ one user wrote. ‘Bank holiday — no one at branch, SunTrust card no longer works. On hold w/Truist for 50+ mins… any help @TruistNews? Terrible start.”

“Check on your friends who are Trust customers. They are not ok today,” another user wrote. Customers also took to Trust’s Facebook comments to complain.

End of an ‘intense journey’ for Trust

After more than two years since the former banks announced their merger in 2019, Trust is its “core conversion” to its new name and brand this month. All BB&T and SunTrust customers will be converted to Trust products and digital platforms.

Customers may have noticed sign switches taking place around Charlotte.

Trust logo on sign
SunTrust customers experienced some disruption in their transition to Trust products last weekend. Trust

When the conversion is complete, there’ll be more than 6,000 new Trust signs across the bank’s branches, office buildings and ATMs, CFO Daryl Bible said on a January earnings call.

The $66 billion merger — the biggest in the banking industry since the 2008 financial crisis — proved to be the “intense journey” that former BB&T CEO Kelly King predicted in 2019.

Trust closed hundreds of branches, including several in the Charlotte area. Bank leaders also had to contend with the pandemic, which emerged just months after the deal was finalized.

But Bible told investors on the earnings call that things will smooth out after the merger wraps.

“Once the integration is complete and all the systems have been converted, Trust will be a much simpler company to operate,” he said. That’ll help the bank provide better service to customers, he said.

Trust is Charlotte’s second biggest bank by deposits, with 16.2% of the metro area’s market.

This story was originally published February 22, 2022 3:49 PM.

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Hannah Lang covers banking and economic equity for The Charlotte Observer. She studied business journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in the same town as her alma mater.

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