RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company (known as First Citizens Bank) announced today that the previously announced merger of 1 st Financial Services Corp. and its subsidiary, Mountain 1 st Bank & Trust Co., into First Citizens Bank was completed on Wednesday, Jan 1. The former Mountain 1 st branches in western North Carolina opened today (Thursday, Jan. 2) as First Citizens Bank locations. Frank B. Holding Jr., chairman and CEO of First Citizens, said: "We want to welcome our new customers to First Citizens. The values that underpin each bank made us very compatible, and we are well positioned to move forward together to better serve the personal and business needs of customers with expanded financial services and products, while maintaining a personal approach to banking. We're committed to making this transition as easy as possible and continuing to build strong, long-term relationships. " In December, the shareholders of Hendersonville, N.C.-based 1 st Financial voted to approve the merger agreement with Raleigh, N.C.-headquartered First Citizens. The merger was also approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks. Customers should bank as they normally do at their existing branches. Mountain 1 st customer accounts are expected to be converted to First Citizens' systems in spring 2014. Customers will be notified in writing of the transition. In the meantime, customers should continue to use their Mountain 1 st Bank checks, ATM, debit and credit cards. They will still have online access to their accounts. Mountain 1 st customers already can use any First Citizens ATM with no surcharge fees on cash withdrawals. Customers with questions can contact a representative at any of the former Mountain 1 st Bank branches or call the First Citizens Customer Care Center at 1.866.407.0324 between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern time daily. The 12 former Mountain 1 st branches are located in Asheville, Brevard, Columbus, Etowah, Fletcher, Forest City, Hendersonville (two branches), Hickory, Marion, Shelby and Waynesville. Founded in 1898, First Citizens Bank is a major subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq:FCNCA), which has $21 billion in assets. First Citizens Bank provides a broad range of financial services to individuals, businesses, professionals and the medical community through a network of branch offices, telephone banking, mobile banking, online banking at firstcitizens.com and ATMs. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank serves 17 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia. The bank is the recipient of multiple national awards for customer satisfaction and overall stability and security. For more information, call toll free 1.888.FC DIRECT (1.888.323.4732) or visit the web site.
CONTACT: Barbara Thompson First Citizens Bank 919.716.2716