Citizens Republic Bancorp

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This article is about a bank based in Michigan. For other uses, see Citizens Bank (disambiguation).
Citizens Republic Bancorp
Type Public bank corporation
Industry Financial
Predecessors Citizens Savings and Commercial Bank
Republic Bancorp, Inc.
Successors FirstMerit Corporation
Founded 1871[1]
Headquarters Flint, MI[1], USA
Number of locations 220[1]
Key people Cathy Nash, CEO[1]
Services Financial Services
Total assets $9.4 billion[1]
Employees 1,977[1]
Citizens Republic's footprint

Citizens Republic Bancorp known as Citizens Bank was an American bank headquartered in Flint, Michigan, and operated in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin. On September 13, 2012, it completed a merger agreement with FirstMerit Bank of Akron, Ohio. As of April 13, 2013, it became a subsidiary of the FirstMerit Corporation.[2] It became a part of FirstMerit on June 13, 2013.[3]


The southern tower of Citizens Republic Bancorp's headquarters in Flint, Michigan. The letters CB have since been replaced with FM for First Merit.

Citizens National Bank[edit]

Citizens National Bank was established in 1871 at the height of Flint's great lumber industry. Citizens Bank played a key role in the development of the auto industry in this country. General Motors founder William C. Durant acknowledged that a loan he and partner J. Dallas Dort received from Citizens Bank in 1886 enabled him to start his vehicle manufacturing career. Citizens switched from a national to a state-chartered institution in 1890 as Citizens Commercial & Savings Bank.[4]

Citizens Commercial Savings Bank[edit]

In 1928, the original bank was removed and the current headquarters was built on the site. At the height of the Great Depression, the U.S. Government declares a national bank holiday closing Citizens and all banks March 6–13, 1933. In 1937, the Bank began its annual Citizens' Holiday Sing. The Weather Ball on the bank headquarters was first illuminated August 30, 1956. The ball is a regular beacon in the city except from 1974 until January 1, 1978 when it was turned-off during the 1970s energy crisis.[4]

Citizens Bank branch, Ypsilanti, MI

Citizens Banking Corporation[edit]

Citizens Bank formed a holding company, Citizens Banking Corporation, in 1981 to acquire additional banks. Banks acquired were Grayling State Bank and State Bank of Standish in 1984.[5] It acquired Second National Bank of Saginaw and Second National Bank of Bay City in 1985. On November 6, 1986, Citizens indicated that will purchase National Bank of Illinois as its first non-Michigan acquisition followed in 1987 with the purchase of Commercial National Bank of Berwyn, Illinois. David T. Dort, son of J. Dallas Dort, retired April 10, 1988, as the longest-serving director of Citizen Banking Corp. after 22 years.[4]

On April 8, 1991, Citizens Bank designated $15 million in loans for small businesses in county's poor and minority communities over three years. The bank purchased Bishop International Airport expansion bonds January 15, 1992, saving the airport $2 million on a $34 million project. On February 18, 1992, Citizens pledged $15,000 toward construction of the Robert M. Perry School of Banking building at Central Michigan University. In a 1993 partnership with Kmart, the Bank gave "real" working experience to students of Stewart Elementary School in Flint. The same year, Citizens also sponsored a "Safe Streets" gun buy-back program. Citizens acquired a number of other financial institutions in the mid-1990s including Royal Bank Group Inc., October 1, 1993; four Michigan locations of Banc One, February 28, 1995; and CB Financial, July 1, 1997. National City Corporation sold one Michigan branch to the Corporation on October 15, 1998. In the last quarter of 1999, Citizens purchased Bank One 17 branch banks and all of F&M Bancorporation, Inc. TCF Financial Corporation sold three locations to Citizens on May 12, 2000.[4]

Citizens Republic Bancorp[edit]

The Bancorp acquired on December 29, 2006 Republic Bancorp Inc. (Ann Arbor, Michigan) to become at the time creating the 45th largest U.S. bank-holding company to become Citizens Republic Bancorp.[4] In order for the Federal Reserve Bank to approve the merger with Republic Bank, Citizens sold seven local Republic Bank branches to First Place Financial under its Franklin Bank subsidiary.[6] In 2008, the Bancorp took a $300 U.S. Troubled Asset Relief loan to survive the economic downturn.[4] In 2010, Citizens Republic sold its F&M Bank Iowa locations for $50 million cash to Great Western Bank.[7] In 2011, the Bank agreed to a settlement in a Redlining case brought against them as Republic Bank's successor by the US Department of Justice trigered by a Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System complaint which will require them to open a loan office in a Detroit black neighborhood and $3.6 million for loans and grants in Wayne County.[8]

For the first time since the economic downturn, the Bank reports in July 2012 five consecutive quarters of profit.[4] On September 13, 2012, Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit Corporation announced it would acquire Citizens in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $912 million. The acquisition was expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.[9] With the stock payment worth less than the stock's tangible book value, several law firms started looking into a possible case of breached fiduciary duties by Citizens Republic's Board of Directors.[10]

FirstMerit subsidiary[edit]

Sandy Pierce was appointed in January 2013 as FirstMerit's vice chair and chairman and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan. In early April, both Bank Corporations' shareholders approved the merger.[11] On April 12, 2013, First Merit Corporation closed on its acquisition of the company. On April 13, it became known as, "Citizens Bank: Now part of FirstMerit Bank."[2]

The Citizens Bank locations were renamed for FirstMerit Bank on June 13, 2013.[3]


The symbol of the bank is the weatherball located atop its headquarters in downtown Flint and was built in 1956. Currently it is lettered for First Merit Bank.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Allen, Jeremy (September 13, 2012). "Sale of Flint-based Citizens Republic Bancorp ends 142-year run for largest Michigan-based bank". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Allen, Jeremy (April 12, 2013). "FirstMerit, Citizens Bank deal closes; branches open April 13 under 'Citizens Bank, now part of FirstMerit Bank' name". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Allen, Jeremy (12 June 2013). "First look at new Flint Weather Ball". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Averill, Andrew (September 13, 2012). "Citizens Republic Bancorp part of lumber, automotive, Flint history since 1871". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Citizens Banking Agrees to Acquire Michigan Bank Firm". Wall Street Journal. August 9, 1985. 
  6. ^ Bach, Matt (May 1, 2007). "New Franklins in the county". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Burden, Melissa (February 1, 2010). "Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. plans to sell Iowa subsidiary for $50 million cash". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Turner, Kris (May 5, 2011). "Citizens Bank, Department of Justice reach settlement over redline allegations". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Allen, Jeremy (September 13, 2012). "Flint-based Citizen Republic Bancorp Inc. sold to Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit Corp.". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Byron, Shaun (September 19, 2012). "Multiple law firms launch investigations against Citizens Republic Bancorp following sale to FirstMerit Corp.". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Allen, Jeremy (April 12, 2013). "Getting to know FirstMerit Corporation: A history of the Citizens Bank buyer". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 

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