Archived Story

Bank adds 12 branches with merger

Published 12:43pm Monday, September 9, 2013

First Citizens Bank announced plans for a merger with 1st Financial Services Corporation.
In addition to a branch located on Carolina Avenue in Washington, First Citizens Bank operates more than 400 branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The bank is headquartered in Raleigh.
This agreement would add another 12 branches to the company. 1st Financial Services provides banking services through its subsidiary, Mountain 1St Bank & Trust Company.
The Mountain 1st branches are located in Asheville, Brevard, Columbus, Etowah, Fletcher, Forest City, Hendersonville (two branches), Hickory, Marion, Shelby and Waynesville. The locations will open as First Citizens Bank branches once the merger is completed.
The announcement was made jointly by Frank B. Holding Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of First Citizens Bank, and Michael G. Mayer, chief executive officer of 1st Financial Services Corp. and Mountain 1st Bank.
The transaction is expected to close no later than the first quarter of 2014, pending approval by the
Security and Exchange Commission and shareholders.
Holding said the merger was an opportunity for the bank to
expand coverage in its home
state.
“Customers value our personal service, our dedication to soundness and the full range of products and services we offer,” said Holden. “We expect to enhance our footprint in western N.C., establish new relationships and create an even stronger bank for those we serve.”
1st Financial shareholders stand to gain $2 million from the merger. The agreement also calls for First Citizens Bank to pay the U.S. Treasury $8 million to get 1st Financial Services Corp. out of its federal TARP program. The Troubled Asset Relief Program was introduced in 2008 to encourage financial institutions to continue financing businesses and consumers.
1st Financial Services Corp. reported $692 million in assets, $669 million in deposits and $363 million in loans as of June 30, 2013.
Mayer said the merger was an attractive agreement for his company.
“Customers will benefit from First Citizens’ century-long dedication to safety and
stability, a more robust line of products and a greater overall capacity to serve their financial needs,” he said.

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