FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2004

For information, contact

First Citizens
Craig L. Nix
Chief Financial Officer
Phone: 803.733.2659

First Citizens Reports Earnings for Third Quarter 2004

Columbia, S.C., October 21, 2004 - First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. (OTCBB-"FCBN") reports consolidated net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2004, of $8.89 million compared to $10.24 million for the corresponding quarter of 2003. Craig Nix, Chief Financial Officer, stated that "earnings remain under pressure due to net interest margin compression and a decline in mortgage banking activity."

Total assets increased from $4.22 billion at September 30, 2003 to $4.48 billion at September 30, 2004. Asset growth was funded primarily through an increase in deposits. Deposits grew from $3.65 billion at September 30, 2003 to $3.79 billion at September 30, 2004. The most significant component of asset growth was loans which grew from $2.85 billion at September 30, 2003 to $3.08 billion at September 30, 2004.

Net income declined for the quarter primarily due to continued pressure on net interest margin and to a decline in mortgage banking income. While net interest income increased by $656 thousand and provision for loan losses decreased by $3.09 million during the quarter, these factors were not sufficient to compensate for the increase in net noninterest expense (noninterest income less noninterest expense). Provision for loan losses decreased due to continued improvement in credit quality trends. Noninterest income and noninterest expense are discussed below.

Noninterest income was $13.01 million during the third quarter of 2004, a decrease of $4.07 million compared to the same period of 2003. The decrease was primarily due to a $3.34 million decrease in mortgage income. During the quarter, mortgage income decreased primarily due to a $452 thousand mortgage servicing rights impairment charge and a $1.40 million decline in gain on sale of loans. The $452 thousand impairment charge taken during the current quarter compares to a $1.55 million recapture recorded for the quarter ended September 30, 2003. Adjusting for mortgage servicing rights impairment recorded during the third quarter of 2004 and recapture recorded in the third quarter of 2003, mortgage income would have been down $1.34 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2004. The decline in the gain on sale of loans was due to a decline in mortgage loans sold from $169 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2003 to $47 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2004. The decrease in adjusted mortgage income was due to a decline in mortgage production.

Noninterest expense was $36.61 million during the third quarter of 2004, an increase of $1.95 million over the same period of 2003. The most significant component of the increase was in salaries and employee benefits costs which increased by $644 thousand. The remainder of the increase was primarily due to increases in occupancy, furniture and fixtures and data processing expenses. These costs increased primarily due to expansion through acquisitions and construction of new branch offices and an increase in the number of accounts processed by third parties.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, consolidated net income was $25.30 million compared to $30.50 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2003. Net income declined for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 primarily due to the same reasons enumerated above concerning the quarter ended September 30, 2004. Net interest income increased by $3.25 million due primarily to an increase in average loans for the comparable periods. Noninterest income was $41.75 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2004, a decrease of $3.46 million over the same period of 2003. The decrease was primarily due to a decrease in mortgage income. Mortgage income declined for the nine-month period primarily due to a reduction in mortgage loans sold. Noninterest expense was $110.95 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2004, an increase of $10.43 million over the same period of 2003. The most significant component of the increase was in salaries and employee benefits expense which increased by $2.97 million. Noninterest expense also increased by $2.29 million due to costs incurred relating to First Citizens' 2004 branding campaign. The remaining components of the increase are consistent with the discussion above concerning noninterest expense for the quarter ended September 30, 2004.

At its meeting held today, the Board of Directors of First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. declared a third quarter common stock dividend of $.35 per share for share- holders of record as of November 15, 2004, payable November 24, 2004.

On October 18, 2004, First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. announced that First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc. had signed a definitive agreement to acquire People's Community Capital Corporation ("People's"), parent company of People's Community Bank of South Carolina. As of September 30, 2004, People's had total assets of $126 million and total deposits of $103 million.

First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. is a three-bank financial holding company headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, with $4.48 billion in total consolidated assets as of September 30, 2004. For more information, visit the First Citizens web site at www.firstcitizensonline.com.

This discussion may contain statements that could be deemed forward- looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, which statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are statements that include projections, predictions, expectations or beliefs about future events or results, or otherwise are not statements of historical fact. Such statements are often characterized by the use of the qualifying words (and their derivatives) such as "expect," "believe," "estimate," "plan," "project," "anticipate," or other statements concerning opinions or judgments of Bancorporation and its management about future events. Factors that could influence the accuracy of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the financial success or changing strategies of Bancorporation's customers, competition, deposit attrition, actions of government regulators, the level of market interest rates, and general economic conditions.


CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(thousands, except share data; unaudited) Quarter ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30,
  2004 2003 2004 2003
 
Interest income $ 50,728 $ 49,718 $ 148,255 $ 148,380
Interest expense 12,017 11,663 34,395 37,765
Net interest income 38,711 38,055 113,860 110,615
Provision for loan losses 1,349 4,436 5,505 7,799
Net interest income after provision for loan losses 37,362 33,619 108,355 102,816
Noninterest income 13,012 17,085 41,752 45,210
Noninterest expense 36,612 34,662 110,951 100,524
Income before income taxes 13,762 16,042 39,156 47,502
Income taxes 4,872 5,806 13,861 17,006
Net income $ 8,890 $ 10,236 $ 25,295 $ 30,496
Net income per share $ 9.83 $ 11.24 $ 27.89 $ 33.44
Cash dividend paid per share $ 0.35 $ 0.35 $ 1.05 $ 0.85
Profitability information (annualized):
Return on average assets 0.79% 0.97% 0.76% 1.01%
Return on average equity 10.00% 12.49% 9.65% 12.84%
Taxable-equivalent net yield on average interest-earning assets 3.78 3.98 3.77 4.01

CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET
(thousands, except share data; unaudited) September 30,
2004
December 31,
2003
September 30,
2003
Cash and due from bank $ 145,184 $ 179,951 $ 146,660
Federal funds sold 119,903 41,379 87,972
Investment securities 900,754 922,229 924,311
Loans 3,081,307 2,939,989 2,849,806
Reserve for loan losses (51,992) (51,268) (50,467)
Other assets 283,050 269,535 262,292
Total assets $ 4,478,206 $ 4,301,815 $ 4,220,574
 
Deposits $ 3,787,002 $ 3,714,577 $ 3,650,293
Other liabilities 335,066 247,655 240,749
Shareholders' equity 356,138 339,583 329,532
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 4,478,206 $ 4,301,815 $ 4,220,574
Book value per share $ 392.73 $ 371.60 $ 360.33
SELECTED AVERAGE BALANCES
(thousands; unaudited) Quarter ended
September 30,
Nine months ended
September 30,
  2004 2003 2004 2003
Total assets $ 4,473,202 $ 4,167,713 $ 4,438,467 $ 4,048,158
Investment securities 897,088 916,595 907,870 925,213
Loans 3,071,607 2,783,423 2,783,423 2,614,499
Interest-earning assets 4,096,434 3,821,412 4,060,796 3,715,693
Deposits 3,791,227 3,582,033 3,791,867 3,483,036
Interest-bearing liabilities 3,382,019 3,160,403 3,374,552 3,080,997
Shareholders' equity 353,555 325,128 349,995 317,638

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