BB&T (BBT) in Winston-Salem, N.C., will eliminate 14 regional presidents as it consolidates regional markets.

The company said in a statement Friday that it will shrink to 23 regions, down from 37, in an effort to become more efficient. BB&T said the restructuring was effective immediately.

The $181 billion-asset company will also cut an unspecified number of jobs as part of this restructuring, the Triad Business Journal reported in its online edition Thursday. A BB&T spokesman did not provide specifics on the planned staff cuts.

As it pares its roster of regional presidents, BB&T will create a new market president role to replace the existing city executive post. Market presidents will be directly responsible for loan portfolios and have much more client interaction than the city executives. They will report to the regional presidents, whose responsibilities will not change.

"In examining the current banking climate we concluded some operational changes are necessary to maintain our competitive advantage," BB&T said in an emailed statement.

BB&T's 23 regions will include five in North Carolina, four in Florida, three in Virginia and two each in Georgia and Texas. One office will handle the entire state operations for Maryland, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area.

On an earnings conference call last month, BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Kelly King said that staffing cuts will be one of the main areas the company looks to as it tries to slash costs.

BB&T's first-quarter profit fell 51%, from a year earlier, to $210 million, as it recorded a $281 million tax charge tied to a legal dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over so-called Structured Trust Advantaged Repackaged Securities, or STARS, transactions.

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