First Citizens completes in-house merger

Staff writerJanuary 7, 2011 

First Citizens BancShares' long-aanticipated merger of its two subsidiaries, First Citizens Bank and IronStone Bank, becomes official today.

The Raleigh-based company announced this morning that the merger will go into effect as of 8 p.m. today. IronStone will become a division of First Citizens Bank as a result.

"This merger will give us significant opportunities for improved efficiencies and growth," First Citizens chairman and CEO Frank B. Holding Jr. said in a prepared statement.

Hope Holding Connell will remain president of what is now the IronStone division. Connell is the sister of Frank B. Holding Jr.

First Citizens announced a similar plan in 2008 but later put the move on hold. It revived its merger plan last fall.

The merger will give First Citizens Bank 435 branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia, including 58 that operate under the IronStone brand. First Citizens Bancshares is the nation's 46th largest financial holding company with $21 billion in assets.

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