RALEIGH, N.C., May 3, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Citizens Bank has received 12 distinguished Greenwich Excellence Awards for business banking services.

"We're extremely pleased to be recognized as one of the top business banks in the nation again this year, especially with additional honors in the small business segment," said Hope Holding Connell, the bank's manager of business services. "At First Citizens, one of the hallmarks of our company is helping small to mid-sized businesses achieve their financial goals. These awards are a testament to the trust our customers have in us and the strong relationships we are building in the business community."

First Citizens received nine wins in the Small Business Banking category in addition to three in the Middle Market Banking category. (In the previous year, the bank won three Greenwich Excellence awards for Middle Market Banking.)

"First Citizens' strong ratings across a wide variety of categories indicate great satisfaction with the depth and breadth of the bank's offerings," said Greenwich Associates consultant Ron Balmer. "Business customers are looking for two things in today's economic environment -- stability and a relationship they can count on, and they indicate they have found these qualities at First Citizens."

Among the awards received, First Citizens won national honors for treasury services management and repeated as a regional winner.

"We're extremely proud to be honored for the treasury services we provide our business customers," said Business and Treasury Services Manager Denton Lee. "Our goal is to help companies operate even more effectively and efficiently, which is so important in this day and age. What makes this award special is that it is based directly on customer feedback."

First Citizens' Business and Treasury Services offerings go beyond typical loan and deposit services, providing businesses with solutions (such as business online banking, direct deposit of payroll, lockbox and check imaging among others) to help them increase efficiency, reduce costs and increase profits.

First Citizens Bank was awarded the following 2009 Greenwich Excellence Awards:

Small Business Banking Category
  • National winner (of 750 banks, only 43 earned this distinction): Overall Satisfaction, Personal Banking, Relationship Manager Performance, Credit Policy, Financial Stability, Treasury Management and Customer Service
  • South regional winner (of four regions in U.S.): Overall Satisfaction and Treasury Management

Middle Market Banking
  • National winner (of 750 banks, only 33 earned this distinction): Overall Satisfaction (also won in 2008) and Treasury Management
  • South regional winner (of four regions in U.S.): Treasury Management (also won in 2008)

About the Greenwich Excellence Awards

Greenwich Associates is a leading international research-based consulting firm in financial services. The Greenwich Excellence Awards are based on survey results from 30,000 interviews with businesses nationwide that have $1-$500 million in annual sales. A minimum of 50 client responses are required for banks to qualify at the national level; 30 are required at the regional level.

About First Citizens Bank

Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens operates 389 branches in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Florida, California and Washington. The bank is a major subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq:FCNCA), which has $21.2 billion in assets. First Citizens is committed to providing superior financial services to individual customers and small to mid-sized businesses. The bank has received multiple national awards for customer satisfaction and overall stability and security, including a five-star superior ranking by independent bank rating firm BauerFinancial Inc. of Coral Gables, Fla., (Bauerfinancial.com). For more information about First Citizens Bank and its services, visit firstcitizens.com or call toll-free 1-888-FC DIRECT (1-888-323-4732).
CONTACT:  First Citizens Bank          Barbara Thompson          919.716.2716