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SunTrust Bank First to Offer Clients Free Equifax Credit Watch(TM) With Selected Checking Accounts

Consumer Awareness Campaign Turns Spotlight on Identity Theft Prevention

ATLANTA, May 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- According to a new consumer awareness survey, more than 85 percent of Americans are concerned about the threat of identity theft, yet less than half believe they're taking the right steps to protect their identity and their credit health.

The survey, commissioned by SunTrust in April 2006, also revealed that 42 percent of consumers are extremely concerned about identity theft, and close to 40 percent know someone who has been affected by the crime.

To help its clients combat this threat, SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) today launched a free identity theft protection and credit-monitoring program from Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX), a global leader in the consumer credit information industry. With today's announcement, SunTrust becomes the first major bank in the nation to provide Equifax Credit Watch(TM) Silver protection for free to select personal checking clients. Equifax Credit Watch(TM) Silver typically costs $49.95 a year.

"Industry reports suggest that identity theft costs Americans more than $5 billion annually, claiming a new victim every 79 seconds," said Gene Kirby, SunTrust corporate executive vice president and head of Retail Banking. "Given the prevalence and destructive nature of this crime, SunTrust took the unprecedented step -- beyond merely offering tips -- to make identity theft protection a free and integral part of our preferred checking accounts."

SunTrust relationship checking account holders who enroll in the free Equifax Credit Watch(TM) Silver will have their Equifax credit file monitored weekly, and will be notified of key changes in their file, which could identify potentially fraudulent activity. Clients also will receive up to $2,500 in identity theft insurance, premium customer care seven-days-a-week, and a free Equifax Credit Report(TM).

"Equifax is proud to be working with SunTrust to arm consumers with the best early warning detection system against identity theft," said Steve Ely, group executive, Equifax Personal Solutions. "Early detection is crucial to helping consumers respond to suspicious activity on their credit file and minimize the impact of identity theft to their credit and good name."

Since 2001, an estimated 27 million Americans have had their identity and credit history stolen. But, according to the SunTrust survey, only 52 percent of consumers say they have taken steps to do something to protect themselves and their ability to take out loans and obtain personal credit. When compared with the 32 percent of consumers who identified specific ways they've modified their financial transactions, a large number of Americans are still at risk.

Identity Theft: The Best Offense is a Good Defense

According to the FBI, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. In fact, it affects as many as one in every five American families and topped the 2005 list of customer complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency.

One of the difficulties in stemming the tide is the stealthy nature of these crimes. Most victims are not aware their identity has been stolen, and typically do not find out until thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent activity has occurred. As a result, a quick discovery of the crime is considered critical to hastening the resolution and containing the damage.

In a landmark 2003 national survey on identity theft, the FTC found, "the cost of an incident of identity theft is significantly smaller if the misuse of the victim's personal information is discovered quickly. The costs to the victim -- both in terms of out-of-pocket expense and in time spent resolving problems -- are also substantially smaller if the misuse is discovered quickly."

How SunTrust/Equifax Credit Watch(TM) Silver Protection Works

Almost half of consumers today (49 percent) are unsure of what to do to prevent identity theft, according to the recent SunTrust survey. In response to this overwhelming client need, SunTrust has joined with Equifax to offer an early warning system for personal Relationship Checking Account clients. The qualifying accounts are: SunTrust Smart Solution Checking, Preferred Checking, Smart Solution Plus Checking, and Signature Advantage(SM) (including SunTrust at Work(SM) versions). Once eligible clients sign up for free Equifax Credit Watch Silver protection, they will be automatically notified of key changes in their Equifax credit file.

Equifax Credit Watch Silver provides weekly monitoring of an enrolled SunTrust client's credit file, and will issue an email or wireless alert directly to them within days of potentially fraudulent or suspicious activity. Clients can establish alert parameters based on their own spending and usage patterns, so larger than normal balances or the sudden activation of a dormant account will trigger an alert. When there is nothing to report, Equifax sends a monthly "no news is good news message," accompanied by anti-ID theft news and tips.

SunTrust clients also receive Identity Fraud Expense Coverage, which reimburses victims of a stolen identity event for certain expenses incurred up to $2,500 (deductible applies).

"SunTrust is committed to helping our customers safeguard their most valuable financial asset -- their identity. You can't put a price on peace of mind," Kirby said.

Activating the Free Credit Monitoring Program

After opening a personal Relationship Checking Account, the account holder can enroll in the Equifax Credit Watch program through a dedicated Internet site. One Equifax Credit Watch Silver product is free per account. In a joint account situation, one person on the account is eligible for a free product and the second account holder is eligible for a second Equifax Credit Watch Silver product at a substantially discounted rate. More information is available online at suntrust.com/idtheft.

About the SunTrust Identity Theft Survey

The Russell Omnibus was conducted online from April 21 - April 24, 2006 among 1,095 online adults across the United States. Participation by gender, age, and geography were weighted where necessary to match their actual proportions in the population.

About SunTrust Banks, Inc. (suntrust.com)

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of March 31, 2006, SunTrust had total assets of $178.9 billion and total deposits of $122.0 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24- hour delivery channels. The Company also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the Company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, equipment leasing and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is suntrust.com.

About Equifax (www.equifax.com)

Equifax Inc. is a global leader in information technology that enables and secures global commerce with consumers and businesses. We are one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data. Utilizing our databases, advanced analytics and proprietary enabling technology, we provide real-time answers for our customers. This innovative ability to transform information into intelligence is valued by customers across a wide range of industries and markets. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax employs approximately 4,600 people in 13 countries throughout North America, Latin America and Europe. Equifax was founded 107 years ago, and today is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500(R) Index. Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EFX.

SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Erin Portman,
erin_portman@cohnwolfe.com, or
Tara Naughton,
both of Cohn & Wolfe for SunTrust;

or Hugh Suhr, SunTrust Banks, Inc.,
or David Rubinger,
Equifax, +1-404-885-8555,

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding SunTrust's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.