Cramer: What Wall Street doesn’t get about the SunTrust-BB&T merger9th February 2019
The biggest banking deal since the financial crisis has more to do with technology than any traditional bank metric, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday of BB&T’s pivotal $66 billion commitment to buy rival SunTrust Banks.
“To me, this BB&T merger of equals with SunTrust is about keeping up with the Joneses — in this case, keeping up with the Wells Fargos, the J.P. Morgans and especially the Bank of Americas,” he told investors. “These financial titans can spend fortunes to build out terrific cloud-based customer relations platforms that have done a phenomenal job of adding new clients. On their own, neither SunTrust nor BB&T can really compete with the big boys when it comes to technology.”
But the analysts covering BB&T don’t seem to understand that, the “Mad Money” host said after listening to management’s conference call about the deal.
On the call, they mostly asked about “the old nuts and bolts of banking” — topics like capital ratios, regulation, loan growth, the two banks’ cultural fit — rather than focusing on what’s next in banking technology, he said.
“I think technology — specifically, the need for customer relations management software — is a crucial part of what drove this deal,” Cramer argued, pointing to what he saw as Bank of America’s lead in the digital banking arena.
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of J.P. Morgan and Salesforce.
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