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- 1 month ago

Truist spends big on unified digital platforms post BB T-SunTrust merger

Summary List PlacementThe bank s Q4 2020 earnings included an adjusted net income of $1.6 billion. Like other large banks, its provision for credit losses fell as perceived risks from the pandemic ebbed, boosting its Q4 profit. The ongoing effects of the December 2019 BB T and SunTrust merger that created Truist remain front and center, as the company integrates legacy staff and infrastructure. The charges are adding up: In Q4, Truist reported $487 million of merger-related restructuring and incremental operating expenses, before tax. It will ultimately have spent $1.8 billion on operating costs related to the merger between 2019 and 2022, the bulk of which is still to come. Cost savings and IT priorities are biting into physical channels as the bank consolidates. Truist will continue to drive cost savings by axing branches. It plans to close 226 locations in Q1 and expects about 800 total closures by Q1 2022. It has also sold branches, such as to the newly enlarged First Horizon last summer. And in contrast to lower spending on physical channels, IT spending is on an upward trajectory: eMarketer projects that Truist will be the seventh-largest US spender on technology this year, with $1.82 billion in IT expenses, up 14% from last year. Unifying the digital customer experience is a major focus of Truist s tech efforts. Truist s digital integration is in the works: It is testing its core banking conversion and has started integrating the two commercial banking platforms. It also said the new Truist digital banking platform will be piloted in Q2 2021 and then gradually rolled out to clients as the BB T and SunTrust experiences are sunset. Truist plans to migrate all clients to the new digital experience by the end of this year, making the brand one in the eyes of customers. In advance of the new digital experience, Truist is still rolling out new technology to existing digital banking services. The BB T and SunTrust digital experiences will remain separate through Q1, and each have still gotten upgrades: BB T has started rolling out AI-driven insights to its app, covering cash flow analysis, spending and deposit notifications, subscription renewal alerts, and predicted cash flow shortfalls, while SunTrust made some recent upgrades for business customers. Much of this new functionality has inevitably been on the product roadmap for some time, and could well make its way to the unified platform as Truist plans out its new digital offerings. Want to read more stories like this one? Here s how you can gain access: Join other Insider Intelligence clients who receive this Briefing, along with other Banking forecasts, briefings, charts, and research reports to their inboxes each day. gt; gt; Become a Client Explore related topics more in depth. gt; gt; Browse Our Coverage Current subscribers can access the entire Insider Intelligence content archive here.Join the conversation about this story


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