24The Need for Principled Action


A QUESTION THAT I AM ASKED OFTEN IS, WHY DID BB&T PERFORM so well during the financial crisis? On the surface, we should have performed very poorly. Our fundamental business is residential real estate lending in the Southeast, and many of our markets had severe real estate corrections (Florida, Atlanta, and the coastal Carolinas). Our primary competitors (SunTrust, Regions, Wachovia, Fifth Third, Bank of America, South Financial, First Horizon, and so on) who are in the same basic markets as BB&T all suffered multiple quarterly losses, whereas BB&T did not have a single loss quarter. While U.S. Bancorp outperformed BB&T, it had a much smaller residential lending business, with limited exposure in the markets ...

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