First Citizens Bank plans to close no branches
By AUSTIN NELSON
As of March 19, all accounts and deposits of First Lowndes Bank were assumed by First Citizens Bank.
First Lowndes Bank controlled 23.9 percent of deposits in Butler, Crenshaw, Lowndes as of June 31, 2009.
Following the FDIC takeover of the bank, all four branches of the former financial institution have been re-opened as First Citizens locations.
William Petrey, president of First Citizens Bank, explained what this meant for customers and employees of the failed bank.
Petrey said most of First Lowndes’ employees would not lose their jobs.
“Before the transition First Lowndes had 48 employees,” Petrey said. “We were able to hire 41 of these.”
Petrey said the bank plans to continue operating all four branches.
“There are a few steps have to go through with the FDIC to insure that these branches will stay open,” Petrey said. “On our end, we plan on keeping the employees and keeping the branches open.”
Petrey said that the clear winner in all of this is the customer.
“Not one customer will lose a penny in this acquisition,” Petrey said.
However, customers with accounts should make sure their funds get certified.
“On all accounts, the customer has to make a transaction in order to certify their funds,” Petrey said. “If a customer goes 18 months and doesn’t make some sort of transaction, the funds will go back to the FDIC.”
Any type of transaction will certify the funds, Petrey said. This can be as easy as writing a check at the grocery store or using your ATM debit card.
Petrey said it gets slightly more complicated for accounts such as savings and CDs.
“There is no way to make a transaction outside of the bank on either types of these accounts,” Petrey said. “These customers will have to stop by the bank to certify these funds.”