First Citizens Bank, the buyer of SVB's assets, is run by a billionaire North Carolina family that's bought over 20 failed banks since 2008

First Citizens Bank, the buyer of SVB's assets, is run by a billionaire North Carolina family that's bought over 20 failed banks since 2008
A First Citizens Bank branch in Raleigh, North Carolina. First Citizens Bank has acquired Silicon Valley Bank.Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images
  • First Citizens Bank, the company that bought the assets of SVB, is run by a family with a wealth of experience buying failed banks.
  • Forbes looked at the billionaire family that's guided First Citizens' purchase of more than 20 small banks since 2008.

First Citizens Bank picked up assets from collapsed Silicon Valley Bank at a deep discount, a deal negotiated in part by a billionaire family well-versed in buying failed banks.

Forbes looked at the Holding Family, the North Carolina banking dynasty behind First Citizens BancShares, which saw an opportunity to expand its banking empire after this month's implosion of SVB.

First Citizen's growth has accelerated in part through the purchases of more than 20 failed small banks since the 2008 global financial crisis, the report said. The acquisitions landed assistance from the FDIC, the agency that operates the deposit insurance fund for depositors at US banks.

First Citizens' Chairman and CEO Frank Holding Jr., 61, and his four sisters - Olivia Holding, Hope Bryant, Carson Brice and Claire Bristow - collectively own about 20% of the stock in the Raleigh-based company and have nearly 50% of the voting power, SEC filings show, per the report. The cumulative stake was worth $2.7 billion after a 54% stock price surge Monday following the SVB deal.

First Citizens with the SVB transaction is moving into the ranks of the largest 20 banks in the US, with $219 billion in assets. Its purchases of failed banks include First Regional Bank and Temecula Valley Bank in California and Denver-based United Western Bank. Its assets jumped from $109 billion just before the SVB deal and have increased from $16.7 billion at the end of 2008.


Before the SVB agreement, First Citizens' largest deal was the $2.2 billion buyout of bankrupt CIT Group in January 2022.

Under terms of the SVB deal, First Citizens, for a $16.5 billion discount, is taking over $119 billion in deposits and $72 billion worth of the failed bank's loans. The FDIC will hold onto about $90 billion worth of securities and other assets.

First Citizens, founded in 1898, got underway as Bank of Smithfield and focused on farmers in Johnston County, North Carolina, Forbes stated. Robert Powell Holding became president in 1935 after starting as an employee in 1918.

His grandson Frank Holding Jr. earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and has been at the bank his entire professional career. Holding Jr. was named CEO of First Citizens in 2008.