A US-based bank holding company. Its subsidiary Truist Bank (formerly SunTrust Bank) has been one of the main financial backers of private prison companies CoreCivic and GEO Group. In 2019, it announced that it would no longer provide financing to companies that manage private prisons and immigrant detention centers. As of 2023, CoreCivic's and GEO Group's credit agreements do not publicly disclose the financial institutions involved.
Truist Financial Corporation, formed in 2019 as a merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks, is a bank holding company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It conducts banking operations through its principal subsidiary, Truist Bank (formerly SunTrust Bank). In 2022, Truist operated 2,123 branches across more than 14 U.S. states and generated $23 billion in revenue.
Past Financing of Private Prison Companies
Truist Bank has been identified as one of several major financiers of private prison and immigrant detention companies, having provided revolving lines of credit, term loans, and bond underwriting services to CoreCivic and GEO Group. While it announced in 2019 that it would no longer provide financing to companies that manage private prisons and immigrant detention centers, it is unclear, as of 2023, whether it has upheld this commitment.
In 2018, CoreCivic entered into an amended $1 billion credit agreement with a syndicate of banks that included SunTrust Bank. Replacing a previous $900 million credit agreement, this credit facility was originally set to expire in April 2023. Under the agreement, SunTrust Bank provided a $112 million revolving line of credit and a $28 million term loan.
In 2019, GEO Group entered into an amended credit agreement, set to expire in 2024. This agreement effectively replaced the company's 2014 credit facility of the same amount, consisting of a $900 million revolving line of credit and a $792 million term loan. As part of a syndicate of banks, SunTrust Bank served as a lender under the original agreement, contributing an undisclosed amount of money to the deal.
SunTrust Bank also served as an underwriter for the following CoreCivic bond offerings:
- September 2015: CoreCivic issued $250 million of bonds, with a maturity date of 2022. As part of a syndicate of banks, SunTrust Bank underwrote $40 million worth of these bonds.
- April 2013: CoreCivic issued two sets of bonds—one set totaling $325 million, with a maturity date of 2020, and another set totaling $350 million, with a maturity date of 2023. As part of a syndicate of banks, SunTrust Bank underwrote both sets of bonds; however, SEC filings do not disclose the proportion of bonds underwritten by the bank.
Discerning the Company's Role in Current Credit Agreements
- October 2017: CoreCivic issued $250 million of bonds, with a maturity date of 2027. As part of a syndicate of banks, SunTrust Bank underwrote an undisclosed proportion of these bonds.
- April 2016: GEO Group issued $350 million of bonds, with a maturity date of 2026. As part of a syndicate of banks, SunTrust Bank underwrote $70 million worth of these bonds.
- September 2014: GEO Group issued $250 million of bonds, with a maturity date of 2024. As part of a syndicate of banks, SunTrust Bank underwrote $43.8 million worth of these bonds.
In August 2022, GEO Group completed an offer to exchange/purchase certain outstanding notes, revolving credit loans, and term loans from certain lenders. As part of this agreement, GEO Group exchanged its outstanding bonds due 2023, 2024, and 2026 for newly issued bonds due 2028. SEC filings do not disclose whether Truist Bank is still involved in any of these agreements.
In May 2022, CoreCivic entered into an amended credit agreement, effectively replacing its $1 billion credit facility with a $350 million agreement. Consisting of a $250 million revolving line of credit and a $100 million term loan, this agreement extends the previous credit facility's April 2023 maturity date to May 2026. SEC filings do not disclose whether Truist Bank is still involved in this agreement.
Involvement in Cop City
Truist is a corporate backer of the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF), the nonprofit arm of the Atlanta Police Department that, with the City of Atlanta, is constructing a militarized police training compound—'Cop City'—on protected forest land. As of August 2023, Truist's Atlanta Vice President and Relationship Manager, Becker O'Shaughnessey, serves on the APF's Young Executives Board. In 2019, the bank (then SunTrust Bank) awarded $3 million to the APF for the construction and operation of an At-Promise "youth crime diversion" facility.
- On April 26, 2017, University of Wisconsin-Madison students passed a resolution to call for the university's divestment from private prisons and corporations that build border walls, naming Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, Boeing, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Suntrust, US Bank Corp., and Wells Fargo.