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Truist Financial Corp (TFC) Q2 2021 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool

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Truist Financial Corp (NYSE:TFC)
Q2 2021 Earnings Call
Jul 15, 2021, 8:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Greetings ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Truist Corporation Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call. Currently, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. As a reminder, this event is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Mr. Ankur Vyas, Truist Financial Corporation.

Ankur VyasHead of Investor Relations

Thank you, Shannon and good morning everyone. Welcome to Truist’s second quarter 2021 earnings call. With us today are our Chairman and CEO, Kelly King; President and COO, Bill Rogers and our CFO, Daryl Bible. During this morning’s call, they will discuss Truist’s second quarter results and also share perspectives on how we continue to activate upon our purpose, our progress on our merger, and current business conditions. Chris Henson, Head of Banking and Insurance and Clarke Starnes, our Chief Risk Officer are also in attendance and will participate in the Q&A portion of our call.

The accompanying presentation as well as our earnings release and supplemental financial information are available on the Truist investor relations website ir.truist.com. Our presentation today will include forward-looking statements and certain non-GAAP financial measures. Please review the disclosures on Slides 2 and 3 of the presentation regarding these statements and measures as well as the appendix for appropriate reconciliations to GAAP.

In addition, Truist is not responsible for and does not edit nor guarantee the accuracy of our earnings teleconference transcripts provided by third parties. The only authorized live and archived webcasts are located on our website. With that, I’ll now turn it over to Kelly.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Ankur and thanks to all of you for joining us. We really appreciate your support. So it’s a really strong quarter which reflects our diverse business mix, our consistent risk management. We did have a negative provision and importantly, I would point out investments that we have made in insurance, investment banking, wealth and digital capabilities and excellent progress in our conversion.

As you’ve heard us say before, we believe culture continues to be the primary driver of our success. I would point out that today in these times, our purpose really resonates with teammates and others as our purpose of inspiring and building better lives and communities is motivational and satisfying to our teammates being involved and helping make the world a better place.

We’re now focused, you may be interested in knowing, in helping each of our teammates align with our culture on a personal basis because we find that engagement really excels when people are aligned with a personal purpose and a cultural purpose. Our EL team is highly focused on cultural integration and activation and is a primary focus for all of us.

If you’re following the slides, if you look on Slide 5, I just want to point out that for us purpose is not just a banner, it’s the way we live. It’s truly trying to inspire and build better lives and communities. We focused a lot of attention, especially now and increasing on DEI. I would point out some of the major investments we’re making in our communities.

For example, this quarter we contributed a combined $200 million to the Truist Foundation and the Truist Charitable Fund to support important work of our organizations across our diverse markets and communities. We’re very excited that we were able to invest $22 million in Atlanta’s Mercy Care, which is a fantastic federally qualified healthcare for the homeless program.

We expanded our partnership with Operation HOPE with a $20 million investment to help provide more education, insights, and tools to help more people build better lives and we invested $2.5 million in a grant to the National Institute for Student Success to improve the financial education and graduation rates for underserved students. This is a fantastic program.

But it’s not just about philanthropy, it’s about the way we live around here every day. So I’m very proud that we released our inaugural Supplier Diversity Impact Report which outlined a $1 billion total economic impact through supplier diversity relationships in 2020. We’re 114% pro-rated on our goal for our three-year $60 billion Community Benefit Plan, which is really helping our communities. And through second quarter ’21, we’ve originated about $17 billion of PPP loans, which really have supported our business clients and employees and our communities.

We’re very active and increasing our engagement with regard to ESG, very focused on energy and sustainable related financing where in the second quarter, continuing from 2020. We’ve invested $2.4 billion in clean energy and sustainable related financing. Look forward soon in the next few weeks for the second Truist CSR and ESG Report, which I think you will enjoy.

So now if you’ll flip with us to Slide 7, I just want to point out some of the key performance highlights. A very strong quarter, we had taxable-equivalent revenue of $5.6 billion, which was up a strong 4% sequentially from first quarter. We had $5.6 billion in taxable- equivalent — we had the revenue — net income was $2.1 billion, which was up 30% linked. Very proud of our $1.55 diluted EPS, which was up 31% sequentially and a strong 89% over last year.

Return on average tangible common equity adjusted was a very strong 24.7%, but even if you take out the reserve release, it’s still a really, really strong 20.9% which was driven by a strong performance in insurance, investment banking, wealth, card and payment fees, and our commercial real estate related income.

We had strong performance in terms of revenue. As I said, it did drive a 2% increase in adjusted non-interest expenses due to incentives, but frankly, this is exactly the kind of expense increase we like to have. When you put that together, revenue and expenses, we had a solid adjusted operating leverage of 2% and our adjusted PPNR was $2.5 billion, up 6% compared to last quarter.

Our asset quality is great. We performed well in CCAR, which allowed us to be in a position to propose a 7% increase in our dividend to a record $0.48 per quarter. Our merger integration is going very, very well and top performance and improved economic conditions give us confidence to reduce our CET1 target to 9.75%, and Daryl will talk more about that. So our total performance for the quarter we think was very, very strong and very comprehensive, which we feel very, very good about.

If you flip with us to Slide 8, I just want to point out a few of the selected items that impacted adjusted income. First, we had merger-related and restructuring charges of $297 million, $228 million after-tax, which was a diluted impact of $0.17. Incremental operating expenses related to the merger, I’ll point out again, these are merger-related expenses but don’t meet the technical definition of merger-related and restructuring charges, but they’re not in our run rate going forward. That’s $190 million, $146 million after-tax and $0.11 diluted negative impact.

As I mentioned, we did have $200 million contribution to our Truist Foundation and Truist Charitable Fund, which had a $0.11 impact. I would point out in the merger-related and restructuring charges included in that is a $111 million after-tax accrual related to our voluntary separation and retirement program, which was a program that we offered in June. We had approximately 2,000 teammates that elected to participate. These were totally voluntary decisions on their part and I want to really thank and appreciate those teammates for their commitment and support to help us build a foundation of Truist.

This program does help us reduce costs and create capacity to invest in needed services for our clients. It’s really part of our overall intense focus on reconceptualizing our businesses. To thrive in today’s world requires a deep commitment to continuously reevaluating yesterday’s activities and expenses associated with that so that we can afford to invest in new activities for today’s demands. With that, let me turn it to Bill to talk about some other — our key trends.

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Thank you, Kelly and good morning everybody. As you can see on Slide 9, we continue to experience robust demand for digital banking services as our clients look for more convenient and more effective ways to transact and manage their finances. The pace of digital adoption has been especially rapid in mobile. Since the second quarter of 2020, our active user base has increased by 9% to over 4.1 million active clients.

Yet, the digital growth stories, it’s a lot more than that. It isn’t just one dimensional. In addition to growing active users, we’re deepening our relationships as we accompany clients along their digital journey. By providing the premier digital experience, we build trust with our clients. They then entrust us to facilitate a broader range of transactions. A great example of this is in mobile payments where Zelle transactions were up 60% compared to a year ago.

We’re also excited about the rollout of our new digital experience that’s beginning now ahead of our physical conversion. After completing a successful internal pilot, we’re beginning to migrate the Truist digital offering to a small number of clients. Rollout will happen in a series of waves throughout the back half of the year. We anticipate that up to 0.5 million clients could be on the digital platform by the end of this month with more to be added in each successive wave.

On the right you can see just one example of how we’re using digital to meet clients where they are in the small business space. The single sign-on focus for clients with personal and business accounts is a significant benefit allowing our small business clients to toggle back and forth seamlessly between their business and personal finances. Our clients also will be able to customize their dashboard and notifications so they can focus on what matters to them.

In addition, our fraud detection technology will help small business clients with fraudulent transactions for a more secure banking experience. The attractiveness of our overall approach is that we’ve created a common platform for retail wealth and small business, which creates agility and seamless client experiences, but the experiences are tailored and designed for the unique needs of each client segment.

Now let me move to Slide 10. Loan growth remained challenging in the second quarter given strong liquidity levels in the marketplace and among our clients. Supply chain disruptions and low levels of rates which are driving high levels of refinance activity. Average loans decreased $6.1 billion compared to the first quarter driven by a $3.3 billion decline in commercial loans and a $2.2 billion decline in residential mortgages.

Average C&I balances decreased $2.4 billion reflecting a $1.3 billion impact from PPP forgiveness and $1.2 billion from lower dealer floor plan outstandings. Nevertheless, we’re encouraged about potential green shoots in C&I. Excluding the impacts of PPP and dealer floor plan, C&I loans grew modestly due to an increase in production and stable utilization late in the quarter.

Several of our markets and specialties saw growth particularly middle market. June production in Corporate Institutional Group was the highest it’s been since the merger and June production in the Commercial Community Bank was the highest it’s been 18 months if you exclude April 2020 which was obviously unusual due to elevated line drops.

Our revolver exposure continues to grow by month, evidence of our relevance and that our clients are building capacity for investments or expansion. Average consumer loans decreased $2.7 billion as a result of ongoing refinance activity in our residential mortgage and home equity and direct portfolios.

Residential mortgages held for investment decreased $2.2 billion as prepayment speeds remained elevated despite some moderation from first quarter levels. We’re expanding our corresponding capacity and transferring some correspondent production to held for investment to support future growth. We also believe prepayment speeds will continue to moderate.

Indirect remains a bright spot due to growth in our prime, marine RV portfolios and LightStream. Overall, loan growth remained elusive in the second quarter both for the industry and for Truist. As I indicated earlier though, we’re seeing evidence of things beginning to turn and our execution is improving at Truist with a keen focus on balance sheet diversity and prudent risk management. Long-term, loan growth is an output and highly correlated to economic growth and we firmly believe the economy, particularly in our key markets is on a very solid footing and on an expansion trajectory.

Now let me turn to Slide 11. Average deposits increased 3.4% compared to the first quarter largely due to the continuing effects of recent government stimulus. We experienced strong deposit inflows while maximizing our value proposition to clients outside of rate paid as average total deposit costs decreased 1 basis point sequentially to 4 basis points.

More importantly, Truist continues to resonate with clients. During the second quarter, we had a record personal checking account production and added more than 51,000 net new accounts which attest to the strength of our franchise. We’re also doing an excellent job retaining clients as attrition rates from recently closed branches continue to be significantly more favorable than planned. We believe these favorable client dynamics reflect our robust markets, strong digital commerce production, and solid execution by our teammates in the Retail Community Bank. And with that Daryl, let me turn it over to you for our financial performance.

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

Thank you and good morning everyone. Continuing on Slide 12. Net interest income decreased $40 million largely due to $32 million lower purchase accounting accretion. Net interest margin decreased 13 basis points. Lower purchase accounting accretion was 4 basis points headwind. Core net interest margin decreased 9 basis points due to the continued build of excess liquidity, which was approximately $18 billion this quarter as well as the impact of persistent low rate environment.

Asset sensitivity increased modestly due to the increase in DDA and the favorable deposit mix changes, partially offset by the increase in the investment portfolio. I would also note, almost 60% of our asset sensitivity is from the short end of the curve giving us solid upside when short-term rates begin to rise.

Continuing on Slide 13. Our diverse business mix is a key strength and continues to provide revenue momentum in a low rate environment. Adjusted non-interest income grew 11% sequentially and 13% year-over-year driven by record results in multiple fee businesses. Insurance income was a record $690 million driven by strong organic growth in new business, excellent retention rates and a firm pricing market. Organic revenue grew 15% versus a COVID-impacted like quarter and we continue to forecast very healthy organic growth.

Given the various uncertainties that exist in the marketplace, this is clearly a good time to be in a business that helps clients manage risk. Fee income from investment banking reflected strong results in syndicated finance and M&A while trading income was offset by $60 million swing in the CVA. We have been consistently investing in and building our corporate and investment banking business for over 15 years and this quarter’s results are a reflection of that.

Record CRE income was driven by strong structured real estate transaction activity. Our strong performance is also a testament to the CRE team’s experience and deep client relationships. Other income benefited from valuation gains on our long-standing partnerships related to our SBIC funds and also investments we’ve made through our Truist Ventures unit. When small businesses win, our communities win. So we are thrilled with the success we have had over many years with our SBIC program.

Continuing on Slide 14. Interest expense increased $401 million from the prior quarter. Drivers included a $200 million charitable contribution to the Truist Foundation and Truist Charitable Fund to support our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. In addition, merger-related and restructuring charges and incremental operating expenses increased $171 [Phonetic] million largely due to the voluntary separation and retirement program that Kelly mentioned earlier.

Adjusted non-interest expense increased 2.1%, modestly due to higher variable compensation related to the stronger performance of our fee businesses and overall strong corporate performance. Adjusted non-interest expense was also favorable relative to adjusted revenue growth driving sequential positive operating leverage this quarter.

Turning to Slide 15. Asset quality remains excellent reflecting our prudent risk culture and diverse portfolio as well as a stronger economy. Non-performing assets decreased 2 basis points. Net charge-offs decreased 13 basis points to 20 basis points, a pro forma post financial crisis low.

Lower charge-offs reflect improvements in our indirect auto and C&I portfolios as well as an uptick in recoveries. Our ALLL remained strong at 1.79% with excellent coverage ratios. Due to the improved economic outlook, our provision was a negative $434 million and we released $560 [Phonetic] million of reserves.

Continuing on Slide 16. Capital remains strong. Our CET ratio increased to 10.2%. Our total payout ratio was 78% and included $610 million of share repurchases. We continue to optimize our capital stack by redeeming our Series H preferred stock. Our latest CCAR results reflect our prudent risk management and resiliency under stress. Truist had the second lowest loss rate in our peer group as well as above average stress PPNR relative to peers. Our preliminary stress capital buffer was reduced to 2.5% from 2.7%.

Our strong CCAR results, improving economy, and merger progress provide additional capital flexibility. Our Board will consider a proposal to increase the dividend by 7% to $0.48 per share at its July meeting. We also intend to manage to approximately 9.75% CET1 ratio over the near-term, which will reflect approximately $4 billion to $5 billion of potential capital deployment either through repurchases or acquisitions over the next five quarters.

Turning to Slide 18. We are making steady progress in our integration plan and our risk profile improves with each conversion. During the second quarter, we successfully converted our wealth trust platform. We are very proud of our wealth, digital, and technology teammates for their hard work in completing this conversion and brokerage platform conversion in February.

More impressively, our advisors continue to produce positive net organic asset flows, which combined with strong market conditions produced excellent results in wealth management fee income. We also performed extensive testing to prepare for the upcoming core bank conversions.

After each milestone, we reflect on what we’ve learned, apply those learnings to the future integration activities. This reduces the risk and helps us ensure we get better with each step of the integration. As we look to the third quarter, much of our focus will be on the final preparations for the conversion of our heritage BB&T clients to the Truist ecosystem later this year. This will be followed by heritage SunTrust conversion in the first quarter of 2022.

Continuing on Slide 19. We are committed to achieving $1.6 billion of net cost saves and continue to make progress across those five categories. Third party spend is down 10.3% versus the baseline and now exceeds our revised target of 10%. In retail banking, we remain at 374 cumulative branch closures and are on track to achieve approximately 800 total closures by the first quarter of 2022 including 39 closures we are expecting in July.

Non-branch facility space is down 3.8 million square feet and we are closing in on our target of 4.8 million. We appreciate all the hard work our teammates have done to keep us on track to achieve these goals. Average FTEs decreased 11% since the merger announcement and will decline even further given the VSRP program.

Technology savings will materialize after redundant systems are decommissioned in 2022. We are also making critical investments in digital and technology. Since the merger closed, we have doubled our digital agile teams and tripled our total agile teams, which makes us nimbler and improves our speed to market, enhancing our client experience.

Turning to Slide 20. We still expect to incur a total merger cost of approximately $4 billion through 2022. We have incurred cumulative merger costs of $2.7 billion through the second quarter reflecting considerable integration work on Slide 18. Looking ahead, we expect these costs to decrease significantly after our first quarter core bank conversion and then drop off entirely after 2022.

Continuing on Slide 21. Our core non-interest expense was $2.952 billion in the second quarter. This calculation removes the effects from asset value changes for our retirement plans, our insurance acquisitions, and higher variable compensation due to fee income and corporate performance. This makes it much more comparable to the baseline expenses at the time the merger closed. Based on the trajectory of our ongoing cost save initiatives, we are on track to achieve our fourth quarter core expense target of $2.94 billion. We are fully committed to this target and we are confident in our ability to meet it.

Now I provide guidance for the third quarter. We expect total net interest income to be relatively stable versus linked quarter as one additional day combined with moderate loan growth excluding PPP offsets declines in purchase accounting accretion and PPP revenue. Core net interest margin is expected to be relatively stable. However, reported net interest margin will continue to decline as a result of diminishing purchase accounting accretion.

These should remain healthy given investments we’ve made in our businesses, robust market conditions, and continued economic recovery. They will not be as strong as second quarter performance. This is partially due to insurance seasonality, but we would expect solid growth compared to third quarter of last year. Adjusted expenses should be relatively flat linked quarter, but will decline fourth quarter as lower personnel costs are realized from the VSRP program. We expect the net charge-off ratio to be 25 basis points to 35 basis points given the continued strengthening of the economy.

Also if the strong credit quality performance continues, we would expect further reductions in our loan loss allowance ratio. Overall, we had excellent operating quarter as strong fee income more than offset modest lower spread income and outpaced expenses to drive 2% sequential operating leverage. Now, let me hand it over to Kelly to discuss our value proposition.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Just want to make a couple of comments with regard to our value proposition this quarter focusing on our markets and capital. We are really very, very pleased that 70% of our net new accounts are opened by new households. We think this shows market share gains in migration in our markets and our digital advantage as about half of our new accounts are opened online.

All of this, interestingly is happening in the face of large number of branch closures that Daryl described where client retention is a very strong 98% plus, which is really fantastic in any type of merger. As mentioned, our CCAR performance lowered risk in the economy, reduced risk in our conversion process, which Daryl discussed gives us great confidence to propose a meaningful increase in our dividend to a record $0.48 and reduce our target CET1 to 9.75%. Just wanted to emphasize that again to make sure you get that, because that’s important.

We also are very confident in achieving, as Daryl said, our $1.6 billion net cost saves based on a number of initiatives that are driving the reconceptualization of our business, our expense reductions, and our industry-leading profitability. We believe that the combination of that will support our investments in future strategies and leading technology investments.

Then finally, if you’ll just flip to Slide 23, just wanted to make a couple of points that how the metrics and numbers support that value proposition. As we’ve said before, we have a really exceptional franchise. We have the highest projected population growth compared to our peers in our marketplaces.

We have really good fee income diversity with our investments in insurance, investment banking, and wealth. We are really uniquely positioned from a profitability perspective with our adjusted diluted EPS at $1.55, up 89% [Phonetic], adjusted return on average tangible common equity at a strong 24.7% and we have strong capital, as Daryl described as well.

So if you look at the quarter overall, it was a strong quarter based on our strong culture, great markets, awesome team. There are plenty of challenges out there, the pandemic is getting better, the economy is getting better and overall at Truist, we fully believe our best days are ahead. Ankur, we’ll turn it back to you.

Ankur VyasHead of Investor Relations

Thank you, Kelly. Before we move to Q&A though, I’d like to quickly turn it to Bill who’d like to share a few concluding thoughts.

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Might make you feel a little uncomfortable, but so bear with me. So given this is Kelly’s last and 50th earnings call as CEO, I just want to spend a few minutes highlighting his legacy, just incredible positive impact on BB&T, Truist, the banking industry and our communities during his 49-year career in banking. I could take hours to do this, but I won’t given that we only have a few minutes, but I thought this group of analysts and investors would appreciate who followed his career.

Kelly joined BB&T in 1972 and I thought it was great irony that earlier this week he spoke to our leadership development program, individuals and teammates who joined just the same way you did, Kelly. When he speaks about the benefits of a growth mindset, positive thinking, choosing to be happy and seeing opportunities and change just like he just did, he speaks from his personal experience and his heart.

Kelly’s humble roots give him a genuine appreciation for all people. They’ve driven his Seeds of Hope initiative and played a key role in our value of caring which says everyone and every moment matters. He’s also the driving force with our happiness value. Positive energy changes lives and he exhibits that daily for our teammates and for our clients.

Kelly became CEO in 2009 in the depths of the global financial crisis. BB&T was one of the few banks to remain profitable through every quarter through that crisis. When he began at BB&T, it was a small bank in Eastern North Carolina with about $250 million in assets. When he became CEO, the bank had a $152 billion assets and today, Truist has $520 billion in assets. Market cap is 4 times during his tenure.

Always a forward thinker, Kelly is a purpose driven leader who steered BB&T through tremendous change, not just to survive, but to thrive through the Great Recession, multiple economic downturns, and now, through a global pandemic and our merger of equals. In addition to traversing tumultuous business headwinds, I admire he’s never lost sight of his personal purpose, which is to make a positive meaningful difference in the lives of as many people as possible.

His empathy, compassion, and leadership had tremendous impact on just to name in fairness a few financial education for more than 1 million high school students through the Truist financial foundations; childhood literacy, which is a passion of his through a new reading app called WORD Force, which is just getting started; community service through the Lighthouse Project positively impacting the lives of more than 20 million people since its inception in 2009.

Kelly has always had an interest in and a commitment to leadership development. It’s the foundation for the Truist Leadership Institute in Greensboro, many of you’ve been there. It has been renamed the Kelly S. King Center in his honor. It not only trains executives to become better and more self-aware leaders, but it also offers customized training at no cost for principals and has certified many, many students at no cost through our Emerging Leaders curriculum, which is provided in partnership with over 80 colleges and universities. Kelly is known for saying there’s no facet of society that cannot be improved through better leadership.

Before our merger, I knew Kelly well. I also listened to these calls Kelly, many of your 50 calls. We joined forces with a concept that we can truly build a purposeful company that stood for something better and outperformed with consistency over the long-term. Kelly, you were the perfect leader to start us on that journey. Your inspirational leadership was a positive catalyst for all of us.

So with a heartfelt thank you for your leadership, your contributions to Truist, to our industry, and personally for our friendship. I look forward to our continued partnership and collaboration with you going forward as you transition to the role of Executive Chair for our Board of Directors. So now we can turn it over to Q&A. Kelly, thank you.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Can I make just one quick comment?

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

You’re still in charge.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

I do just want to note that this is also Daryl’s 50th conference call. So congratulations to Daryl, but thank you, Bill, for that. I just wanted to say to our audience that has supported us over all these years, it has been honor and a blessing to have worked with thousands of Truist teammates over all these years to serve our communities and I really, really cherish that opportunity.

I’ll also just say to all of us that banking is an honorable profession, which serves to help build better lives and communities every single day. I am humbled and proud to have been a part of it. Thank you for your support, we appreciate it and as I’ve said many times, I truly believe our best days are ahead.

Ankur VyasHead of Investor Relations

Thank you, Kelly. Thank you, Bill. Shannon, at this time, we’re now ready to start Q&A. So if you’ll explain to our listeners how they can participate in the Q&A session. I’d like to ask the participants to limit yourselves to one primary and one follow-up so that we can accommodate as many of you as possible today.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Gerard Cassidy with RBC.

Gerard CassidyRBC — Analyst

Good morning, Kelly. Good morning, Bill.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Gerard.

Gerard CassidyRBC — Analyst

To start off, on behalf of many on this call, Kelly, I would also reiterate Bill’s fabulous comments about your career and congratulate you on being an outstanding community spiritual and commercial bank leader. I think you will be missed by many, so congratulations. On the questions, maybe starting with you, Bill. Can you give us some further color or elaborate on the green shoots that you guys are seeing in the loan growth area for possibly the second half of the year. Daryl touched on it as well and where are you seeing some of this potential growth coming from?

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Sure, Gerard. As I’ve mentioned, production in June and CIG and CCB was sort of hitting some high points. So we started to see a little bit of an inflection point. In CIG, a lot of that came from industrials, healthcare, tech. That probably doesn’t surprise you. I mean I think as we think about the infrastructure that’s ahead of us, I think energy is a potential for the future. I’ll put that a little bit of a question mark as probably the light green of a green shoot.

In CCB, really good progress in our middle market, a lot in our verticals, senior care. I think that’s really coming back strong. Our dealer network, so despite the outstandings, our exposure to dealer is going up and then just sort of our government services. Again, I don’t think those are surprises. Those are pretty core parts of our economy.

Overall revolver commitments were up. So as I said earlier, I think the capacity of our clients to invest. The when this will come, I think that’s sort of the question. I don’t think it’s an if, I feel like we’re in a good position whether that manifests itself so much in the second quarter. Remember, we still have some headwinds with PPP but our tailwinds I think the dealer part will rebound.

I mean, you will see the supply chain start to normalize whether that happens at the end of this year or first of next year, I don’t know, but that will rebound. The economy, particularly in our markets utilization and just, as Kelly mentioned, our just core execution just gets better every day. So I think those are tailwinds.

Gerard CassidyRBC — Analyst

Very good.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Bill and I and others have been on our regional visits virtually so far this year and we’ve talked I guess build hundreds of our business clients and the feedback and I think it’s a really big deal universally has been extremely confident and positive. They are all talking about projects that they’re working on. It is, as Bill described, beginning to show up in green shoots. I personally think it will really begin to show up as we head into the third and fourth quarter and certainly undergo a strong ’22, but the confidence level is very, very high.

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

Gerard, this is Chris. I might just add that we had 16 of our 22 regions that were actually positive in C&I growth less dealer this quarter.

Gerard CassidyRBC — Analyst

Very good. And maybe shifting over to Daryl, you talked a little bit, Daryl, about the possibility of bringing the loan loss reserve down. You mentioned that in the DFAST test, you’re the second best in terms of on the credit losses. I see if I recall your day one reserves back in January of 2020 were 1.61%. Can you give us maybe some color and maybe Clarke as well about the outlook that could that reserve level fall below the day one now that the outlook might be even stronger today than it was in January of 2020 excluding the pandemic situation?

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

Yeah, thanks for the question, Gerard. What I would tell you is that when we established our CECL day one number, we weighted our pessimistic scenario of 40%. I mean if you look at the economy now and the growth that we’re seeing and the outlook, our weighting is much less than that. So as the economy plays out throughout this year, there is a chance that we could pierce through and maybe go over or go under our CECL day one number that we started with in January of 2020 from that perspective. I think you have to take it quarter-by-quarter and see how it’s performing, but right now the economy seems to be going on really strong and gaining momentum.

Gerard CassidyRBC — Analyst

Great, thank you.

Operator

And our next question will come from Mike Mayo of Wells Fargo.

Mike MayoWells Fargo — Analyst

Hi, you don’t have revenue synergies built in to your final numbers, but it seems like you might have some revenue synergies here. So specifically I’m asking of the record and insurance and other record in investment banking, how much of those revenues are driven by cross-selling versus just the core organic growth and I have my insurance analyst colleague at Wells Fargo Securities to ask on that second part, Elyse?

Elyse GreenspanWells Fargo Securities — Analyst

Yeah, thanks. Oh, go ahead.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

No, go ahead.

Elyse GreenspanWells Fargo Securities — Analyst

I was just going to build upon Mike’s question on the insurance side, just hoping — that you guys had an impressive organic growth quarter. Hoping to get an update on your outlook for the rest of the year. How things can trend versus the 15% this quarter and how the different growth within retail and wholesale segments of the business.

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

Right, happy to do that. Maybe Bill and I will take the ERM question first and then I’ll jump back and answer your question, Elyse. From the ERM perspective, I will tell you, it is going really well. We have been for the past 18 months in the behavior building kind of phase. When I look at this quarter, I see very strong contributions from the Commercial Community Bank to our strategic side, which is a CIG for capital market services. I see a very strong up 20% in a growth perspective. I see mortgage up in the mid-30s and CIG which is back to insurance and to few other areas up well over 100% in terms of growth.

In fairness, we have some other areas that have some opportunity but I would — I like what I see and I think what we’re building really is the right foundation for a behavioral jumping-off point across the company. It is something that Bill and I have been personally monitoring and working with each one of the business lines and we’re in kind of still of a build out process in terms of understanding of sort of what’s possible and we’re really trying to push a lot of business leaders to think bigger because we think the opportunity is very substantial. Bill I don’t know anything you want to add to that?

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, I think Chris said it exactly right and remember, Mike, I mean these cut across a lot of different parts and we like to think about the term of integrated relationship management so that cuts across clients and we’re meeting client’s needs and working backwards, but just to like give you an example, sort of in the Commercial Community Bank, we doubled the number of transactions that we did in the quarter versus last quarter and these might be where we were left lead, this might be where we were in M&A transaction and the pipeline is also about double where it was before.

So, as a percent of the growth — as a percent of the total, it’s a smaller percent. As a percent of the incremental growth, it’s a larger percent and I think that’s going to continue to grow the momentum, the cultural alignment, all the parts that we built as part of One Truist. I just feel — I feel great about it and I think that momentum will continue and you’ll see it in just — the way I think you’ll see it is versus revenue synergies specifically, what you’ll see it is in incremental growth relative to others.

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

And so, coming back, Elyse, to your question, and I just preface this with comments that we sort of like to see the paper to this business back in early ’18, brought in a consultant and really begin to break the business down and look at all the opportunities to put the pieces back together and I think what you’re seeing here is a three-year — end of a three-year period of where we have really taken a lot of steps to build back a business in the most effective way possible in a really good operating environment.

So I would have to say this is fundamentally the best quarter I have seen in this business in my career and I’ve been working on this business a long time. And we are by the way cranking off as we conclude the first three-year period, we’re kicking off another three-year period because we think there is more that we can do and will do to improve this business.

But to get to your question, what’s really driving organic growth as you know, pricing in the industry I think probably peaked in the fourth or first quarter of — fourth quarter of ’20 to first quarter this year was sort of in the up 7% range where we’re now if you read all the industry information kind of in the up call it 6% kind of range.

But we really believe while rates have moderated a little, we believe that it’s still going to be a very positive throughout the balance of ’21. You might have potential for a little slight moderation but we still think it’s very strong in the up category, in the up mid 5% to 6% kind of category. And we just entered hurricane season by the way and the fall is wildfire season. So you never know, it could just hold or even increase from there depending on what happens.

Our client retention in retail is at 91.8% and that’s up a 1% over the last year and in a hard market environment that favors wholesale more, that is very much a positive. Our wholesale business is 86.1%. It’s up 2%, also very strong, but we are continuing to see risk shift from the standard market that supports retail to wholesale.

Probably the most notable driver of organic growth was just our new business production and that is driven just by core GDP growth and so we’re in the up portion of the V right now from an economic perspective. And so 24.5% new business growth is double the best I’ve seen historically. Year-to-date were up 19%. So we get an organic growth rate — total growth rate of 18.8%, but when you strip out acquisitions, organic of 14.8%.

We are including in this quarter $29 million of revenue from prior acquisitions. That does not include Constellation, which we just closed on July 1, but includes if you looked at annual run rates, it’s about $130 million of prior acquisitions we did through a number of seven or eight through the back half of last year and the first part of this year.

So that’s sort of the organic growth question, but to get to your outlook question just remember we are going from our seasonally strongest quarter of the year to our seasonally weakest quarter from second to third. So we expect commissions to be down about 8% going from second to third and there’s still certainly uncertainties.

But we just think the environment looking forward is still very favorable when you think of improving economy with the GDP and improving employment, which really drives our EB business, increasing pricing that we just said in the up sort of 6% range and then we benefit from the shift to the E&S market via our very strong wholesale business.

That’s why we operate a diversified model quite frankly. We think pricing is going to continue to be strong. You see in sort of the drivers in the industry this quarter umbrella [Phonetic] in excess was up 11.6%, D&O is up 11%, commercial property, which we have a disproportionate exposure to is up 9.6%. That’s really good for us. So we expect for the third quarter high-single digit organic growth in our weakest quarter.

That would be the highest growth that I’ve seen historically period, but we’re seeing — we’re expecting high-single digit growth in our weakest quarter which I think is fantastic for the business. And just remember, we did close Constellation July 1st and that adds $160 million in revenue and really helps us form one of the largest programs divisions in wholesale units of any wholesale provider going forward.

Mike MayoWells Fargo — Analyst

Great, well thank you very much.

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

Sure.

Operator

And our next question will come from Betsy Graseck with Morgan Stanley.

Betsy GraseckMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Hey, good morning.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Betsy GraseckMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Hi, Chris, just a quick follow-up on that, $160 million is additive, so you’re 8% QQ [Phonetic] is not including that acquisition. Just want to clarify that.

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

I know it is in our forecast. So what you’re typically seeing, I mean last year you would have seen second and third, we would have dropped maybe $75 million. This year, you would have seen a $90 million drop, but with the addition of this number, you would see something like a $50 million because you’ve got $160 million annually.

Betsy GraseckMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Got it, OK and then just the expenses associated with Constellation that we should be thinking about? Anything there to note?

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

There’s expense synergies. So this business actually the margin is accretive to our overall margin. So I think there are expenses, but there are synergies that are coming out.

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

I think the operating ratio initially is like 70% for Constellation if you want to add in the expenses with the transaction in the run rate.

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

Yeah and generally, Betsy, generally it’s about a 12 month integration.

Betsy GraseckMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Yeah, no, you’ve done a great job at improving the operating efficiency of that business over the past several years. So congratulations to you on that. I did have a couple of other questions. First off, imitation is often the best form of flattery and there is plenty of people imitating you on your specialty finance lending focus that has been a hallmark of TSC for many decades. Could you give us a sense as to how you’re thinking about that business and where you want to be leaning in to growth?

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

Absolutely, Betsy. Thank you for saying that. That has been a focus of ours. We really think of it in terms of point of sale and when we talk about insurance and wealth and CIG, we probably should add sort of a point of sale focus through our core Sheffield and you also have LightStream now. We have a group of partnerships that are a little bit more indirect.

Things have clearly changed by consumers. They no longer come to their bank to purchase their items. They buy it on the spot and they want it just that way and now they want it digitally just that way as well. So we’re working on all the above and I think we have opportunities within our current business to expand verticals like hearing aids and do more in the way of trailers and that kind of thing. So there are opportunities there, but I think we’re also looking at other opportunities to expand like in the home improvement space would be a good place. There is a lot a lot going on there. So it’s an area we’re really focused on and something that we’re really excited about and it’s an industry that has you know in the north of 20% kind of growth rate. So we’re very excited about the opportunity.

Betsy GraseckMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Okay, thanks. And then, Daryl, just a couple for you. One ticky tacky one is just on the fees you mentioned down sequentially. We talked about the insurance seasonality, but up year-on-year. Could you just remind us what kind of base level fees you’re looking at year-on-year because I thought there were some one-timers in it last year. I just want to make sure I’m on the right base.

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

If you look at it versus prior year, we’ll probably be up anywhere from 5% to 10% range in that neighborhood. We did have some other income in there from our venture capital portfolios there but to be honest with you, we continue to invest in that and that continues part of run rate as we move forward. So it’s going to be lumpy back and forth, but it is going to be continuing to grow over time from that.

Betsy GraseckMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Okay, all right, that’s helpful and then just on the NCO ratio guide of the 25% to 35%. I think you came in this quarter around 20% or so and credit looks great. So is this you being conservative with the 25%, 35% or is there something in the book that you would suggest you’re expecting a little bit of a deterioration QQ [Phonetic] on the ratio?

Clarke R. StarnesChief Risk Officer

Betsy, this is Clarke. It’s primarily seasonality. In the second half of the year, we always have some seasonality uptick in some of the consumer portfolio. So we’re assuming we’ll have some of that normal trend and I would just also say this was an outstanding quarter. We did have all-time lows in things like our auto business. We had really low C&I and higher recovery. So we had some really strong tailwinds this quarter but all that being said, we still feel like we’re going to have very strong loss performance as we move forward, given what we see today.

Betsy GraseckMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Got it. Okay, thanks so much and Kelly, it’s been phenomenal working with you over the past several decades. So very much appreciate the time that you’ve spent with us and Bill looking forward to working with you more closely going forward. Thanks.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Betsy, appreciate that.

Operator

And our next question will come from Matt O’Connor with Deutsche Bank.

Matt O’ConnorDeutsche Bank — Analyst

Good morning. I just want to circle back on the expense target for 4Q, the $2.94 billion. I guess first a clarification. Does that include the impact of the insurance deals or I would assume we got to top it up for the one that just closed and maybe the others too.

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

Yeah, Matt, in our deck we had that waterfall slide where we actually take our adjusted numbers and we basically back out three things. Our non-qualified numbers, we back that out. We back out the insurance acquisitions and run rate because we’re trying to compare back to what we looked like in ’19 and then with a huge growth that we’ve seen in our CIG area and our wealth area and our insurance area, just organic growth, that’s great to have those revenues, but those revenues do have expenses, but those are good expenses, but we’re adjusting for those as well. So that’s what we’re adjusting to try to get back to what we looked like when we put the merger together in ’19.

Matt O’ConnorDeutsche Bank — Analyst

Yeah, that Slide 21 or Page 21 is very helpful, but when we see the 4Q ’21 adjusted expenses, will it be the $2.94 billion or we have to add that $20 million for insurance plus the one that you just did?

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

Yeah, it’s going to be the number, the $2.94 billion will be the number on the right at the end of the waterfall. That’s a core expense. It’s not a run rate number. The run rate number is the adjusted number, which basically backs out your merger and restructuring charges and your incremental MOE. That will tend to basically come down dramatically after the first quarter of next year when we finish our core bank conversions and go away totally by the end of ’22.

Matt O’ConnorDeutsche Bank — Analyst

Okay. Sorry, so just to clarify there like when we see the 4Q cost base, we’ll take out the merger charges, we’ll take out the incremental costs and should we still focus — will we see the core number or the adjusted number?

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

The adjusted number is the run rate number on a go-forward basis. All core does is basically try to back out because we’re a dynamic company that’s constantly changing and growing and doing things, we have to back out our expense bases that basically have benefited over the last two years of coming together. So we’re trying to show you that we’re getting the $1.6 billion off of that original expense base, but not penalizing us for the additional fee revenue growth that we received over the last couple of years and acquisitions that we’ve done.

Matt O’ConnorDeutsche Bank — Analyst

Okay, that makes sense. Sorry to make you go through all that. And then as we kind of think through next year, do we take that — the 4Q level, annualize it and obviously, you’ve got some more cost saves coming, maybe a little seasonality in 1Q, but can you run rate that 4Q level and then be lower than that for next year full year?

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

Meaning [Phonetic] $1.6 billion cost saves, so we’ll get that by the end of 2022. We have a lot of things going on in the company right now besides those five bucket of savings which we’re making tremendous progress in. Kelly talked about the voluntary separation and retirement program that we announced. That basically — we have some teammates that volunteer to go away. Basically, the first wave of that will happen on 09/30.

So you’ll see the impact of that in the fourth quarter. That will continue to come down over the next couple of quarters. The waves probably are three or four waves overall to get everybody that volunteered to go to exit the company and then Kelly and Bill talked about basically going through all of our processes and adjustments that we’re making to come together and get more efficiencies and scale. When we came together in ’19, we knew what we knew then.

We know a lot more now and we’re continuing to make our company much more efficient and improved and we’ll have savings from that all through ’22, but to be honest with you, we’re creating fuel that basically will not only fall to the bottom line, but we’re also continuing to make a lot more investments in our businesses in wealth, insurance, CIG and other areas and we’re also investing in technology and digital with this savings that we’re getting.

Matt O’ConnorDeutsche Bank — Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Operator

We’ll now hear from John McDonald of Autonomous Research.

John McDonaldAutonomous Research — Analyst

Yeah, hi, wanted to follow-up the new capital target, Daryl said creates $4 billion or $5 billion of incremental excess capital. Just was wondering, Bill, Kelly, how you’re thinking about that between M&A opportunities and share repurchases. Any thoughts you could share on that?

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

John, our waterfall of priorities has not changed in all these years and it’s what we would think good stable long-term investors would appreciate that number one is always organic growth, that’s the highest payback for your shareholders. The second is a good stable long-term increasing dividend payout. Third is M&A and we have good opportunities there and that’s been very, very encouraging. And the fourth is buyback and we’re willing to do that aggressively when it’s appropriate.

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Hey, John, just to emphasize that and Kelly said it, I mean, and you see it in our results, I mean our organic opportunities are significant. So what we see with our markets, where we see our ability to invest and is — so that’s going to be priority one and it continues to enhance.

John McDonaldAutonomous Research — Analyst

Okay and then just to follow-up on that. Is it a target we should think about kind of for the next year or so. Is that how you’re thinking about like kind of maybe moving down over the next year to that 9.75%.

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

I think John, what we’ve said consistently is as the risk of the merger comes down and our confidence in the economy goes up, we’ll evaluate that target. So I think we’re going to be on that trajectory and I mean it would be logical that our confidence is going to improve on the merger. It improves every day. Daryl outlined a pretty good chart of the things that we’ve been doing and then we’ll all look and see how the economy is doing. So we don’t want to ever time bound that decision. It’s really time bound by what’s happening in our company and what’s happening in the general economy.

John McDonaldAutonomous Research — Analyst

Okay, fair enough, thanks.

Operator

[Speech Overlap] Thank you. Our final question will come from John Pancari of Evercore ISI.

John PancariEvercore ISI — Analyst

Good morning. Just on the M&A front, I know you just indicated that there are — you see some good opportunities there. Could you just give us your updated thoughts on that front? What type of M&A are you most interested in. And then separately, I’m curious to get your thoughts on President Biden’s executive order, which seems to be implying greater scrutiny around larger bank deals. I want to see if that makes you think any differently about future deals. Thanks.

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, John, on the M&A side, I think we’ll be consistent with the things that we’ve seen. I mean obviously in the insurance side, we’ve had really good experience there and I would expect that to continue. We talked in Betsy’s question about some of the enterprise payment, some of the opportunities we have there, some of the point of sale. I mean the things that have been important to us strategically, digital perhaps, but things have been important to us strategically will be consistent. I mean it would be — we won’t go sort of off track from our core consistency.

And as it relates to President Biden’s thing, as it relates to our business, I mean let’s take — maybe take a large bank M&A off the table. We’ve already done one of those. So we feel really good about that, but as it relates to our business, I mean this really plays well to our sort of core middle market business. I mean if you think about the place where we offer advice and where we see activity in the future, we think we’re actually really, really well positioned.

John PancariEvercore ISI — Analyst

Great, that’s helpful, Bill. And then separately, just on your systems conversion. Could you just give us a status update on where you stand on your core deposit conversion system. Just I want to confirm, are you definitely moving to a new system and not a legacy system when it comes to the core deposit banking system and then where are you on that progress in that actual that part of the tech migration? Thanks.

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, Daryl outlined in that one chart sort of all the different components that we’re doing as it relates to the core conversion we outlined in there. In the fall, we’ll convert the heritage BB&T clients. In the first quarter, we’ll convert the core STI clients and that’s on a much more agile platform than exists today. So we’re going to have a lot more flexibility in the things that we can do and the movements we can make and the assimilation of acquisitions, the ability to leverage APIs and do more things with that platform and we are absolutely on track. I mean we’re, as you can imagine, we are monitoring this on a daily, hourly type basis. We’re in just about in the dress rehearsal part for the fall. We’re well into the UAT and SAT testing and feel good about where we are.

John PancariEvercore ISI — Analyst

Great, thanks, Bill. And Kelly, I wish you all the best. It’s been a great ride and you should be proud.

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, John, appreciate it very much. Thanks for your support.

Operator

That does conclude our conference for today.

Ankur VyasHead of Investor Relations

That concludes our call. Thank you, Shannon. Thanks everybody for joining. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to the Investor Relations team. Thank you for your interest in Truist. We hope you have a great day. Shannon, you can now disconnect the call.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 64 minutes

Call participants:

Ankur VyasHead of Investor Relations

Kelly S. KingChairman and Chief Executive Officer

William H. RogersPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Daryl N. BibleChief Financial Officer

Christopher L. HensonHead of Banking and Insurance

Clarke R. StarnesChief Risk Officer

Gerard CassidyRBC — Analyst

Mike MayoWells Fargo — Analyst

Elyse GreenspanWells Fargo Securities — Analyst

Betsy GraseckMorgan Stanley — Analyst

Matt O’ConnorDeutsche Bank — Analyst

John McDonaldAutonomous Research — Analyst

John PancariEvercore ISI — Analyst

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