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First Citizens’ merger to form largest family-owned bank in US

US-based First Citizens Bank, led by the Holding family since 1964, has announced it will become the country’s largest family-owned bank when it merges with another independent bank, which it also owns a controlling stake in, this November..

US-based First Citizens Bank, led by the Holding family since 1964, has announced it will become the country’s largest family-owned bank when it merges with another independent bank, which it also owns a controlling stake in, this November.  

The deal, which sees the North Carolina bank join hands with the similarly named First Citizens Bank and Trust of South Carolina, is worth between $636.9 million (€471 million) and $676.4 million.

Following the deal, announced this week, First Citizens Bank will have 575 branches across 18 states.

The new company will lay claim to $30.7 billion in assets, $26.1 billion in deposits and $18 billion in loans, becoming the sixth largest bank headquartered in the southeast region of the US.

Existing second-gen chief executive and chairman Frank B Holding Jr, who will head the new company, said he believed the planned merger would help the family business solidify its place in the financial sector and strengthen its foundation for the future.

“Being a family-controlled bank, we understand the decisions we make today can have profound consequences for many, many years to come,” Holding Jr said.

The Holding family owns approximately 52% of First Citizens Bank stock and 64% of First Citizens Bank and Trust, but the two have operated independently for decades.

Existing chairman and chief executive of the South Carolina bank, Jim Apple will retire at the deal’s completion.

“We see so many positives to joining with a bank that has a similar culture and brings 116 years of experience in financial services,” Apple said in a statement. 

Holding also suggested that by spreading the operating costs across a larger market the combined company would be able to improve efficiencies and profitability.

He said few branches would close under the merger.  

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