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Moody's upgrades SunTrust Banks, downgrades BB&T following Truist merger

Moody's upgraded the ratings of SunTrust Banks Inc. and downgraded BB&T Corp. following the companies' completed merger to form Truist Financial Corp.

The rating agency upgraded all long-term ratings of SunTrust, including raising the senior unsecured debt rating to A3 from Baa1, and all long-term ratings and the stand-alone baseline credit assessment of unit SunTrust Bank, which was raised to "a2" from "a3." The BB&T downgrades covered all long-term ratings of BB&T Corp., including lowering the senior unsecured debt rating to A3 from A2, and all long-term ratings and stand-alone baseline credit assessments of its subsidiary Branch Banking and Trust Co., which saw its deposits rating lowered to Aa2 from Aa1.

In a related action, the firm withdrew all outstanding SunTrust ratings, except for ratings on debt or preferred stock that remains outstanding.

The outlook on the surviving Truist entities is stable. The agency expects Truist to have strong balance sheet metrics, including healthy liquidity and capital.