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First Citizens to aid low-income communities
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First Citizens to aid low-income communities

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- First Citizens Bank announced a $16 billion community benefits plan — developed in collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition — that builds on its work to reinvest in low- and moderate-income communities and neighborhoods of color.

Under the plan, First Citizens Bank would support lending and investing in the areas of affordable housing, small business and community development over a five-year period from 2021-25, following completion of the proposed merger of First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (“First Citizens”), the parent company of First Citizens Bank, and CIT Group Inc. (“CIT”).

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“We’re pleased to announce a plan to bring additional investment to our markets and help grow these vibrant and diverse communities and businesses — at a time when these efforts are truly needed,” said Frank B. Holding, chairman and chief executive officer of First Citizens. “We have a legacy of giving back to the cities and towns we serve, and this plan serves as a testimony to the commitments and values that will represent our combined company. We’re glad to establish a new partnership with NCRC and its members in creating this plan and look to build even stronger relationships that will last well into the future.”

The $16 billion five-year commitment features:

  • $6.9 billion for community development lending and investments, including affordable housing opportunities and small business lending to nonprofits and small for-profit developers that support LMI communities.
  • $5.9 billion for lending to small businesses, supporting the growth of companies with less than $1 million in annual revenues and in LMI and majority/minority geographies.
  • $3.2 billion for home purchase mortgage loans, focusing on LMI and minority borrowers and/or minority/majority geographies.
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“This community benefits plan expands on the ongoing work that we’ve already put in place to support affordable home ownership, small business lending and community development,” Holding said. “It solidifies our path forward and will accelerate new opportunities for underserved communities and customers.”

The support provided through the plan will assist communities that First Citizens Bank will serve across the combined company’s retail bank footprint.

First Citizens participated in virtual listening sessions late last year with national and state members of NCRC, an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, affordable housing, entrepreneurship, job creation and vibrant communities for America’s working families. The plan is a direct result of input received from those meetings and was formed in conjunction with the NCRC and its member organizations.

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“We appreciate the leadership and proactive efforts of First Citizens to collaborate with us and develop a substantial plan that makes a significant commitment of investments, services and loans for LMI communities and neighborhoods of color," said NCRC CEO Jesse Van Tol. “Our members played a critical role and provided essential input in our discussions. It’s rewarding when institutions and communities can come together like this to make a lasting impact.”

In addition, the plan provides $50 million for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-qualified philanthropic giving through 2025. Also, a community advisory board will provide input and feedback on the plan’s progress.

In October 2020, First Citizens and CIT announced a proposed merger, which would create a top 20 U.S. bank based on assets. The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The combined company will operate under the First Citizens name. For more information, visit firstcitizens.com.

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