Chattanooga's biggest bank takes on brand new name Friday

First Tennessee Bank officially becoming First Horizon Bank

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / First Horizon Bank, formerly First Tennessee Bank, is seen on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chattanooga's biggest bank takes on a new name Friday as it broadens its brand beyond its Tennessee horizon.

First Tennessee Bank, the state's largest bank and the Chattanooga bank with the most local deposits, officially becomes First Horizon Bank at the close of business Friday.

The new name and logo began appearing downtown this week at the bank's main local headquarters at Market and 7th Street and should be on the signs of all of the other 16 Chattanooga branches within the next couple of months.

"At 5 o'clock Friday we legally become First Horizon so we will reopen Monday under that name at all banks," said Jay Dale, the market president for First Horizon in Chattanooga. "Our parent company has been First Horizon for the past 10 years and this will now bring all of our banking, wealth management and fixed-income operations under the same name."

photo Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / First Horizon Bank, formerly First Tennessee Bank, is seen on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Within the next two weeks, a new sign also will go up on the pavilion next to Finley Stadium to showcase the new First Horizon name.

The name change will not require First Tennessee customers to change any of their accounts or paperwork.

"You can continue to use the same checks, debit and credit cards next week," Dale said. As accounts or new checks are renewed or issued, the new First Horizon name will appear.

The Memphis-based banking company was started in 1864 and entered the Chattanooga market in 1976 when it acquired the failed Hamilton National Bank, once the biggest bank in Chattanooga. First Tennessee has expanded its banking footprint to more than 250 offices across Tennessee and has other operations in the Carolinas, Georgia, Texas and Florida. Dale said the First Horizon name better reflects the growing footprint of the bank.

With more than $24 billion of deposits in its home state, including nearly $2.4 billion in metropolitan Chattanooga, First Tennessee is the biggest bank in the state and in Chattanooga. First Horizon also became the fourth biggest bank holding company in the entire Southeast in 2017 when it bought the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Capital Bank Financial Corp. for $2.2 billion.

Last year, First Tennessee's Chattanooga president, Jeff Jackson, was named Florida market leader for Capital Bank following First Horizon's purchase of that bank the previous year.

Suntrust to become Truist

Next year, Chattanooga's second biggest bank, SunTrust, will also take on a new name following its merger with BB&T.

The combined holding company will be named Truist Financial Corp. and the combined bank will be named Truist Bank, which is the name that will eventually appear on the 21 SunTrust branches in metro Chattanooga.

The combination of the Atlanta-based SunTrust and the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB& is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The merger will create the sixth largest U.S. bank holding company serving 10 million customers.

The combined bank will take on a new Truist identity following the merger. The Truist name is likely to go up over the next year or two following the completion of the merger.

"True to the heritage of both companies, Truist will reflect what we stand for – a shared belief in building a better future for our clients and communities," BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King said in an announcement of the new name earlier this year.

The two companies partnered with Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, to lead in the development of the new name and brand identity.

"Truist is a brand name representative of two mission- and purpose-driven companies coming together to serve our clients as a true financial partner," SunTrust Chief Executive Officer Bill Rogers said.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 757-6340.