U.S. Bancorp Bulks Up Bond Trustee Biz

MINNEAPOLIS ( TheStreet) -- U.S. Bancorp is acquiring the bond trustee business of First Citizens BancShares ( FCNCA).

U.S. Bancorp is not saying how much it paid for the business but says the deal will strengthen its existing corporate bond trustee business in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

"This investment is indicative of U.S. Bank's commitment to the Southeast market, as is the recent introduction of the U.S. Bank National Corporate Banking team and High Grade Fixed Income Group," said Dick Payne, vice chair of U.S. Bancorp's corporate banking division, in a press release. "Through our focus on customer service and the latest in financial technology, we continue to grow in this market, winning over individuals as well as companies both large and small."

The company's corporate trust division will have $2.4 trillion in assets under administration, 725,000 bondholders and more than 114,000 client issuances once the deal is complete, it said.

U.S. Bancorp is probably most well known for its retail banking outfit primarily located in the Midwest. But the firm, with $266 billion in assets, is much more than a commercial bank. It also has a large payments services business, and provides wealth management services for individuals and corporations. The significant fee revenue that U.S. Bancorp earns from these businesses has helped it offset pain from the financial crisis.

The company made significant headway in the expansion of its corporate trustee business in 2006. That year it bought the municipal and corporate bond trustee business of Southeast lender SunTrust Banks ( STI) and the municipal trustee business of LaSalle Bank, which added a combined $153 billion of assets to its existing business. (The Midwestern bank, formerly a unit of ABN Amro, was eventually acquired by Bank of America ( BAC).)

U.S. Bancorp has 46 corporate trust offices across the country. The company says it is able to serve as trustee and paying agent for the issuance of taxable and non-taxable securities. It also provides mortgage-backed and asset-backed securitizations, money market paying agency services, bond and tax administration, escrow services and document custody services.

U.S. Bancorp's stock was marginally lower on Wednesday morning, while shares of First CitizensBancShares rose less than 1 percent to $160.45.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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