BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C., plans to close 25 branches as part of its integration of National Penn Bancshares in Allentown, Pa.

The $210 billion-asset BB&T on Monday agreed to buy the $9.6 billion-asset National Penn for about $1.8 billion. BB&T said that it plans to cut National Penn's annual noninterest expenses by $65 million, or 30%.

Closing 25 branches is "very attainable," Kelly King, BB&T's chairman and chief executive, said during a conference call Tuesday to discuss the deal. "Remember, there is overlap" with branches BB&T gained from its recent purchase of Susquehanna Bancshares in Lititz, Pa., King added.

A undetermined number of job cuts should also be expected after BB&T evaluates "back-room activities," Ricky Brown, president of BB&T's bank, told the Allentown Morning Call. National Penn employs about 275 workers at its Allentown headquarters; another 200 people work at other area locations.

BB&T has already confirmed that it will dismiss most of a 21-person small-business lending team at Susquehanna as it cuts costs at the $19 billion-asset company.

BB&T will also reduce expenses in areas unrelated to personnel, Scott Fainor, National Penn's chief executive, said. Fainor is expected to remain at BB&T as a regional leader. BB&T also plans to make Allentown its regional headquarters, which Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said will allow the city to remain a "major financial center."

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