FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2003

For information, contact

First Citizens Bank
Janice C. Burt
Phone: (803) 931-8539
Fax: (803) 312-8850

First Citizens Expands in the Upstate

Columbia, S.C., January 16, 2003 — First Citizens Bank is expanding its leadership and its market presence in the Upstate. During 2003, the bank will be adding new offices and entering new markets in the region. Executive management of the Upstate has also expanded to keep pace with the bank's growth. Craig Robinson joined the bank earlier this month as executive vice president and retail division executive for the Upstate. Robinson brings twenty years of banking experience to his new position. He joins forces with Executive Vice President David Barnett, who serves as the bank's commercial division executive for the Upstate. Also David Weaver, a veteran Greenville area banker, has joined Barnett's team as commercial area executive. Barnett and Robinson operate as a team, with Barnett leading all commercial activity and Robinson taking the lead on the retail side.

Here are the major plans announced for 2003:

In downtown Greenville, First Citizens is negotiating the purchase of the Duke Power building located at 325 West McBee Avenue, an approximately 60,000 square-foot facility. The purchase is subject to regulatory approval. The bank plans to occupy 15-20,000 square-feet of that space and expects the existing tenants to remain. Barnett notes that "there may be space for an additional tenant." He adds that this will be a full-service facility —including drive thru access, area management offices, commercial, trust and professional banking services, among others. The bank expects to occupy the building during August or September of this year. At that time, it will no longer occupy its current main office, located at 2 Beatty Place.

On the east side of Greenville at the corner of Elmshorn Drive and The Parkway, site preparation is being done for a new office. Construction will begin soon, with completion expected later this year. According to Robinson, the addition of this new office is designed to "strengthen our market presence on the east side of Greenville."

Plans are also underway for a remote ATM on Woodruff Road in Greenville and one in the town of Boiling Springs, near Spartanburg. Both are expected to be operative in the near future.

Along Highway 123, First Citizens has plans to enter two new markets, Seneca and Easley. In Seneca, the bank has purchased an existing building on Highway 123. After making some cosmetic and signage changes, the bank expects to occupy its new office next month. First Citizens has gained regulatory approval to open an office in Easley and is in the process of negotiations on a possible site. If all goes as planned, the bank hopes to close on the site later this year.

"With offices in several communities along Highway 123, our entry into Easley and Seneca makes sense for the bank," explains Robinson. "Entering these communities allows us to solidify our market in the western part of the state."

First Citizens also has big plans in the city of Spartanburg. There the bank will soon begin construction on its new main office on Henry Street. This office will be located at the site of its original main office, which was demolished a few months ago in anticipation of the new construction. The new main office will have approximately 20,000 square feet, which will be entirely occupied by First Citizens. It will serve as the area headquarters and will offer the complete line of services, including commercial banking, professional banking services, and operations.

The new main office will be completed late this year or early in 2004. At that time, all operations will be moved from the temporary main office (on East Main Street) to the new Henry Street office. According to Robinson, no other offices will close. "We feel that this part of town will be well served by our Hillcrest office (located further down East Main Street from the temporary main office) and our new main office on Henry Street, " he explained.

First Citizens Bank offers services in commercial and retail banking through its 144 offices in South Carolina. First Citizens Bancorporation of South Carolina, Inc. is the parent company of First Citizens Bank and Trust Company of South Carolina, The Exchange Bank of South Carolina, and Citizens Bank. The Exchange Bank operates four offices in South Carolina; Citizens Bank operates two offices in Georgia. As of September 30, 2002, First Citizens Bancorporation had total consolidated assets of $3.64 billion.


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