First Citizens, CIT Group Merger Will Create $100B Bank

An approximate $2.2 billion all-stock merger deal between First Citizens and CIT Group will result in the creation of the 19th biggest U.S. bank, with over $100 billion in assets, the companies announced on Friday (Oct. 16).

The boards of directors at both companies voted unanimously for the agreement, which gives First Citizens stockholders about 61 percent ownership and CIT stockholders 39 percent of the combined company.

“This is a transformational partnership for First Citizens and CIT, designed to create long-term value for all of our constituents, including our stockholders, our customers, our associates and our communities,” said Frank Holding Jr., chairman and CEO of First Citizens, roles he will keep in the combined company. 

Ellen R. Alemany, chairwoman and CEO of CIT, is a key player in the merger, and will assume the role of vice chairwoman and serve on the new company’s 14-member board of directors. The new board will consist of the current 11 First Citizens board members and three CIT board members, including Alemany.

“Frank and I have long respected each other’s companies and believe this transaction will accelerate our strategic goals by bringing together the expertise of both banks to create scale, strength and value,” Alemany said. 

She added that this combined, larger firm will result in “greater opportunities for our team, our customers and our communities.”

The merged firm will be headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina and will operate under the First Citizens name and NASDAQ ticker symbol FCNCA. Among other locations, operation centers will be located in New York, New Jersey, California, Nebraska, Arizona, Florida and South Carolina.

Since the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic started in March, U.S. banks in July said they have seen a record increase in deposits, totaling over $2 trillion. The gains were fueled by the government’s billions of dollars extended to support taxpayers.