First Citizens Bank late Friday agreed to acquire a struggling Los Angeles bank with more than $2 billion in assets and eight branches.
It was First Citizens' third deal in the past six months brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Raleigh-based First Citizens is using its financial stability to expand during the economic downturn, especially on the West Coast, which has been hit hard by rising unemployment and tumbling real-estate prices.
On Monday, the First Regional Bank offices in Southern California will open under the First Citizens name. The FDIC typically seizes failed banks late on Fridays, so that officials can spend the weekend converting the branches with minimal disruption for customers.
“Today’s agreement is a perfect match for our company’s strength in serving business customers,” said First Citizens CEO Frank B. Holding Jr., in a prepared statement. “It expands our presence in the greater Los Angeles area, and it allows us to take advantage of our longstanding experience as one of the nation’s top financial service providers for businesses and professionals.”