Truist, the sixth-largest commercial bank in the United States, apologized for and denounced its predecessor banks’ roles in slavery in a letter sent Thursday to employees.
In 1872, two Confederate veterans and sons of wealthy slave-owning planters, Alpheus Branch and Thomas Jefferson Hadley IV, founded the banking house Branch and Hadley in the town of Wilson. The institution would eventually become known as BB&T, and after a 2019 merger with SunTrust, renamed to Truist.
“I deeply regret and denounce the role that our heritage companies played more than 100 years ago to perpetuate the atrocity of slavery and the repression of enslaved peoples and their descendants,” CEO Kelly King said in an interview.
“I find that personally it makes me very sad, it makes me very mad. I will do everything I can to make it better,” he said.
King pledged more support for African American communities and said the