updated 1/18/2011 1:48:17 PM ET 2011-01-18T18:48:17

RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 18, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCNCA) has been recognized by Forbes as one of the best financial companies in the nation. BancShares ranked fourth in the United States among the 100 largest banks and thrifts, according to Forbes. BancShares' main subsidiary is First Citizens Bank. First Citizens Bank and its IronStone Bank division operate 435 offices in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

"This high ranking recognizes the success of First Citizens' consistent and disciplined approach to banking, our ongoing focus on financial soundness and a strong commitment to our clients — attributes that have been cornerstones of our company for more than a century," said BancShares Chairman and CEO Frank B. Holding Jr. "It is also a compliment to our hard-working, dedicated associates who understand that stewardship of our clients' money is a top priority."

Forbes' rankings were based on research by SNL Financial, which used eight financial criteria to assess the 100 largest banks and thrifts:

  • Return on average equity
  • Net interest margin
  • Nonperforming loans (NPLs) as a percentage of loans
  • Nonperforming assets as a percentage of assets
  • Reserves as a percentage of NPLs
  • Two capital ratios (Tier 1 and risk-based)
  • Leverage ratio

Raleigh, N.C.-headquartered First Citizens BancShares is the 46th largest financial holding company in the United States with $21 billion in assets. First Citizens Bank and its IronStone Bank division are committed to providing superior financial services to individual clients and small to mid-sized businesses. Founded in 1898, First Citizens has also received multiple national awards for customer satisfaction and overall stability and security, including a five-star superior ranking by independent bank rating firm BauerFinancial Inc. of Coral Gables, Fla., (Bauerfinancial.com) and Greenwich Excellence Awards for business banking services. For more information about First Citizens Bank and its services, visit firstcitizens.com or call toll-free 1-888-FC DIRECT (1-888-323-4732).

CONTACT: Barbara Thompson
         First Citizens BancShares
         (919) 716-2716

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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