SouthTrust Bank

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SouthTrust logo.gif
SouthTrust Tower in 2005

SouthTrust Bank was a large regional bank headquartered in the SouthTrust Tower at 420 20th Street North in downtown Birmingham. It was a successor to the Birmingham Trust National Bank which expanded regionally through acquisitions of the Southern Bancorporation of Alabama and rebranded in 1981 as the SouthTrust Corporation with the SouthTrust Bank name replacing BTNB on branches in 1982. The company constructed the 34-story SouthTrust Tower at the corner of 20th Street and 5th Avenue North.

SouthTrust continued to expand under new banking laws, acquiring the Central Bank of South Daytona Beach in 1987 as its first branches outside Alabama. The corporation continued to acquire smaller banks in north and central Florida and later in Georgia. It opened its first Tennessee branch in Nashville in 1988, followed by one in Charleston, South Carolina in 1989. The company, with more than $7.5 billion in recorded assets, was recognized as Alabama's largest bank in 1990. It purchased the Charlotte, North Carolina-based US operations of Barclay's in 1991 and claimed 336 branches in six states and more than $12 billion in assets by the end of 1992.

The entire SouthTrust operation was reorganized under a national bank charter in 1996. In 2000 the company returned to a state charter while it continued its expansions in Texas and Virginia. By 2004 the bank had 712 branches and $53 billion in assets. CEO Wallace Malone quietly moved the commercial banking offices to Atlanta, Georgia in 2003. In June 2004 it was announced the SouthTrust would be acquired by Wachovia Bank of Charlotte, North Carolina for $14.3 million in shares. The sale was completed on November 1 and the commercial banking office in Atlanta became Wachovia's Southern Banking Group headquarters. About 1,700 jobs were lost in Birmingham due to the merger.

The SouthTrust name disappeared from bank buildings in Birmingham in October 2005. That name and its associated trade marks were acquired by First National Bank of George West, headquartered in George West, Texas, in 2013.

SouthTrust branches