Raleigh, N.C.-based First Citizens Bank will locate its corporate mortgage division in Columbia after completing the merger of two family-owned South Carolina and North Carolina banks early next year, the company said Thursday.
But some corporate employees in the Columbia-based operation will be laid off – even as the bank simultaneously hires new employees, a bank official said.
“First Citizens is a growing company,” said Barbara Thompson, a bank spokeswoman in Raleigh. “We need a number of talented associates to work for the combined bank. A lot of decisions are being made. The decisions being made are to increase the efficiency of our operations and to position our company for continued success.”
No details were released about how many employees will be let go and when they will leave. Some employees have received anticipated “work-through dates” that are subject to change depending on the merger process, Thompson said.
“There is no impact, whatsoever, to branch associates and sales leadership,” Thompson said. “We are talking specifically about corporate staff. It is going to be business as usual with minimal disruption from now until operational conversion, which is later in 2015. ... We are offering quite a few positions to South Carolina associates for the combined bank.”
Details of the consolidated bank operations are still being ironed out, including the impact in the institution’s combined mortgage division in Columbia.
First Citizens Bank and Trust Company Inc. of South Carolina was acquired by First Citizens Bank of North Carolina on Oct. 1 for more than $600 million.
The merger of the two First Citizens banks created the largest family-controlled bank in the United States with Frank Holding Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, representing the third generation of family ownership.
Two of the new bank’s six-member executive leadership team are from the South Carolina First Citizens bank operation: Peter Bristow is president and Craig Nix is chief financial officer.
Jim Apple, former chairman and chief executive of First Citizens’ South Carolina bank, retired when the merger was approved, according to the bank.
The combined banks showed $30.2 billion in assets at the end of the third quarter, with $25.6 billion in deposits and 572 branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
The new owners plan to keep the First Citizens Café adjacent to the Columbia offices on Main Street. The coffee shop is a strong extension of the First Citizens brand, and the company is focusing on promoting it, Thompson said.