BB & T Bank
Community Banking since 1872
Building on a tradition of excellence in community banking that stretches back to 1872, BB&T continues to offer clients a complete range of financial services including banking, lending, insurance, trust and wealth management solutions.
In a rapidly changing and unpredictable world, individuals and organizations need a clear set of fundamental principles to guide their actions. BB&T is a mission-driven organization with a clearly defined set of values.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Eastern North Carolina lay tattered, battered and torn ... an easy mark for profiteers and politicians bent on destroying what little remained. There was no money, no law and precious little trust or faith in the once-proud institutions of the South.
Alpheus Branch, the son of a wealthy planter in Halifax County, first came to Wilson, NC to attend Deems Military Academy. Branch later 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 tobacco.
In 1887, Branch bought Hadley’s interest in the bank for $81,000 and changed its name to Branch and Company, Bankers. In the years leading up to the new century, partners were added and the name of the bank changed a number of times. Following the death of Branch, the bank continued to grow and opened a savings department in 1902.
Prior to 1900, virtually no trust business was conducted in North Carolina by institutions. The 1889 state charter authorized the bank to organize a trust department, but changes in the law delayed implementation until 1907, when Branch Banking and Company became the first bank in the state to engage actively in trust activities.
Trials and Triumphs in a New Century
The new century saw expanding opportunities for BB&T. With assets growing with Government bonds, investments from other banks, and even an increase in personal deposits. Wartime shortages meant that people had little to do with their money except to save it.
World War I saw BB&T engaged in the sale of Liberty Bonds, making loans in a growing economy and gaining a reputation as one of North Carolina’s big banks. Both an insurance and mortgage loan department were added following the aftermath of war furthering strengthening their customer offerings.
With the stock market crash of 1929, banks that had invested heavily in stocks began to fail. Within two years, 131 state banks in North Carolina failed. At BB&T, many customers withdrew funds to deposit at the Post Office in Postal Savings, the only apparent safe investment. What they didn’t know was that postal officials took that same money and deposited it in BB&T. While public confidence in banks had disintegrated, the government’s faith in BB&T had not. A New Prosperity
World War II brought government bonds, investments from other banks and a wartime prosperity that caused people to save because few consumer goods were available. Following the war, as former GIs bought cars, homes and the makings of a new life, BB&T was a source of regular loans. During the next four decades BB&T became North Carolina’s fourth largest bank acquiring at least ten other financial institutions from Alabama & Georgia to Maryland & Virginia making it the significant institution it is today. The Chamber warmly welcomes BB&T Bank as a Chamber Partner and Sponsor.
Manager, Raymond Kim
4401 Backlick Road
Annandale, VA 22003