BB&T, the regional bank based in Winston-Salem, has reached a deal to take over offices and deposits of Colonial BancGroup, according to published reports.
Colonial, based in Alabama, is expected to be closed by federal banking regulators later today, Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Colonial, with $26 billion in assets, would be the largest in a series of bank failures this year. The company ran into problems after an expansion into Florida saddled it with soured real-estate loans.
A BB&T spokeswoman said the company doesn't comment on rumors or speculation. A deal that size would be one of the largest in BB&T's history.
BB&T has 40 branches and about 450 employees in Chatham, Durham, Orange, Person and Wake counties.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has closed 72 banks this year amid the worst recession since the Great Depression. Typically, the FDIC prefers to seize lenders Friday afternoon, giving the agency the weekend to audit financial records, change signs, shift deposits to a new owner and take other steps to minimize any disruption for customers.