Citizens Republic Bancorp
|Type||Public bank corporation|
|Predecessors||Citizens Savings and Commercial Bank
Republic Bancorp, Inc.
|Headquarters||Flint, MI, USA|
|Number of locations||220|
|Key people||Cathy Nash, CEO|
|Total assets||$9.4 billion (2012)|
Citizens Bank, (Citizens Republic Bancorp), is an American bank headquartered in Flint, Michigan that was merged with FirstMerit Bank in 2013. Citizens Bank operates in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin under the FirstMerit Bank name. 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. The merger finalized on June 13, 2013.
Citizens National Bank
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.
Citizens Commercial & Savings Bank
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.
Citizens Banking Corporation
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. 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.
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. Citizens also acquired F&M Bancorporation, Kaukauna, with banks in Wisconsin and Iowa which continued to operate F&M Bank as a separate bank. TCF Financial Corporation sold three locations to Citizens on May 12, 2000.
Citizens Republic Bancorp
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. 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. In 2008, the Bancorp took a $300 U.S. Troubled Asset Relief loan to survive the economic downturn. In 2010, Citizens Republic sold its F&M Bank Iowa locations for $50 million cash to Great Western Bank. 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 triggered 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.
In 2010, Citizens takes a loss of $286 million, its largest annual lost in three years of consecutive losses while turning that around to a net income of $17 million for 2011. In 2011, the US Department of Treasury appointed two directors to the bank's board as it had failed to make payments on the bailout funds. For the first time since the economic downturn, the Bank reports in July 2012 five consecutive quarters of profit.
In August 2012, Citizens had not repaid its $300 million bailout loan from the US Treasury. The bank hollding company consider issuing stock to pay the debt back, but instead put itself up for sale with J.P. Morgan Chase hired to find a buyer. Huntington Bancshares was considered a potential buyers as Huntington was expanding in Michigan. 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. 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.
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. 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."
The Citizens Bank locations were renamed for FirstMerit Bank on June 13, 2013 The merger was done to reduce regulatory filing and accounting costs.
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. The weatherball was officially re-lettered for FirstMerit Bank in November 2013. The original "CB" letters were removed and were supposedly going to be put in the Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan. Unfortunately, because of their poor condition due to their age, they had to be recycled. The weatherball was built over a four-month period on the top of the current Citizens Bank headquarters at 328 S. Saginaw Street in 1956. The Weather Ball has been the symbol of Citizens Bank ever since. The Weather Ball was operated by Citizens Bank based on National Weather Service forecasts, and is still operated by FirstMerit Bank the same way. The Weather Ball’s construction materials include 800 square feet of Plexiglas and 667 feet of lighting tubing. The "CB" initials underneath were made of porcelain with neon piping for the letters. Weight: 2.5 tons Height: 15 feet Diameter: 15 feet Circumference, 47 feet. The Weather Ball can be seen for 25 miles and is designed to withstand winds of up to 120 mph.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allen, Jeremy (12 June 2013). "First look at new Flint Weather Ball". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 2014-05-30.
- Averill, Andrew (September 13, 2012). "Citizens Republic Bancorp part of lumber, automotive, Flint history since 1871". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "Citizens Banking Agrees to Acquire Michigan Bank Firm". Wall Street Journal. August 9, 1985.
- "F&M Bank to become Citizens Bank April 25". Milwaukee Business Journal. February 10, 2005. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- Bach, Matt (May 1, 2007). "New Franklins in the county". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- 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.
- Turner, Kris (May 5, 2011). "Citizens Bank, Department of Justice reach settlement over redline allegations". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- Dolan, Matthew (May 5, 2011). "Citizens Republic Settles Detroit-Bias Claims". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- Gores, Paul (September 13, 2012). "Citizens Republic Bancorp to be acquired by Ohio firm". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- "Citizens Republic Said to Seek Buyers". Bloomberg. August 3, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allen, Jeremy (April 12, 2013). "Getting to know FirstMerit Corporation: A history of the Citizens Bank buyer". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2013.