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BB&T CEO: No signs of customer attrition from SunTrust deal

BB&T Corp. Chairman and CEO Kelly King said there have been no significant customer defections as the bank moves toward its giant merger of equals with SunTrust Banks Inc.

"I know there has been a lot of conversation out in the market about everybody's saying they're taking all of our business," King said in a conference call about the company's third-quarter results. "That's not true."

King cited the strong loan and deposit growth the bank posted in the period as evidence that it has continued to gain business despite the resources and attention that are needed to accomplish the combination.

"There has not been any material attrition," he said. "There is no indication of any decay and there's no expectation of any decay." Instead, the companies anticipate new opportunities from the scale and broader suite of products and services that the merger will create, King added.

BB&T posted annualized growth in average commercial loans of 6.3% during the quarter, despite keeping commercial real estate loans about flat because of what King called "fluffiness" in the sector. Total loans declined because of a sale of $4.3 billion of mortgages the bank executed to improve its net interest margin.

Average deposits increased at an annualized rate of 5.2% even as BB&T's total cost of deposits fell one basis point from the previous quarter to 0.67%.

In SunTrust's third-quarter earnings call, CEO William Rogers Jr. said he was confident the merger with BB&T would close in the fourth quarter.

King said BB&T also anticipates completion in the fourth quarter but acknowledged that "it possibly could slip to the first quarter."