SunTrust Banks Inc. and Crestar Financial Corp. closed their $9.5 billion merger on Dec. 31, creating the nation's 10th-largest bank, with $87 billion of assets and 1,094 branches.

The deal was announced July 20.

Crestar, based in Richmond, Va., is operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of SunTrust and will keep its name for the foreseeable future, a SunTrust spokesman said.

SunTrust now operates 28 subsidiary banks in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

The bank has 3.3 million customers.

Four Crestar directors will join the 12-member SunTrust board.

They are: Richard G. Tilghman, former chairman and chief executive officer of Crestar; Frank E. McCarthy, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association; G. Gilmer Minor 3d, chairman and chief executive officer of Owens & Minor Inc.; and Frank S. Royal, chairman of the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.

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