BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C., has been released from all or part of two regulatory enforcement orders tied to its compliance with anti-money-laundering laws.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks terminated a 2016 consent order that had required the $221 billion-asset company to improve its Bank Secrecy Act compliance. No money-laundering activity was identified and no financial penalty was assessed.
Separately, the North Carolina banking regulator terminated its part of a 2017 cease-and-desist order filed jointly with the Federal Reserve.
BB&T announced both terminations on Friday. The company did not indicate when the Fed may terminate its part of the joint order issued with the North Carolina regulator, but said in a news release that it continues "to work closely with the Federal Reserve to resolve its continuing order.”
“Since early 2016, BB&T has made substantial enhancements to its AML compliance program, including significant investments in system upgrades, process improvements and the hiring and placement of a highly experienced AML team to oversee these efforts,” the company said in the release.
BB&T continues to be restricted from pursuing acquisitions until the Fed order is lifted. Company management has said it “is not currently looking at whole bank M&A” and wants to focus on the benefits of technology investments and recent Pennsylvania acquisitions instead, Sandler O’Neill analyst Stephen Scouten wrote on Monday.
However, “recent activity in some of its markets could have the bank more interested" in M&A than it has been "in recent quarters,” Scouten wrote.
BB&T is still shy of the $250 billion-asset threshold at which banks will be considered systemically important under recent revisions to the Dodd-Frank Act, but Scouten said that BB&T likely has ambitions to be a much larger company.
“We believe management would like to leap over the $250 billion-asset line, rather than slowly grow through" that plateau, "with the ultimate goal” of becoming an institution with assets of $350 billion to $400 billion, he said.