NEW YORK — The Federal Reserve has approved the $66 billion merger between BB&T and SunTrust, clearing the last hurdle in creating the sixth-largest bank in the U.S.

The combination of BB&T Corp., which is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc. is the largest bank merger since the Great Recession.

The new institution will be called Truist Bank, which will have more than $425 billion in assets and will be one of the largest retail bank operators in the South. It will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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The Federal Reserve required BB&T and SunTrust to sell 30 branches and divest $2.4 billion in assets as a condition of the merger.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, or very early in 2020.