CIT Group

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CIT Group Inc.
TypePublic company
S&P 400 Index component
Financial services
Founded1908; 113 years ago (1908) in St. Louis, Missouri
FounderHenry Ittleson
Headquarters11 West 42nd Street,
New York, New York, USA
Area served
North America
Key people
Ellen Alemany
(Chairwoman & CEO)
John Fawcett
Robert Rubino
(President of CIT Bank)
ProductsCommercial banking
Retail banking
Asset-based lending
Commercial mortgages
RevenueIncrease US$2.29 billion (2019)
Increase US$529 million (2019)
Total assetsIncrease US$50.832 billion (2019)
Total equityIncrease US$5.814 billion (2019)
Number of employees
3,609 (2019)
DivisionsConsumer Banking
Commercial Finance
Real Estate Finance
Business Capital
SubsidiariesOneWest Bank
Capital ratio12.0% Common Equity Tier 1 capital (2018)[1]
RatingFitch: BB+ (2018)
S&P: BB+ (2018)
Footnotes / references

CIT Group Inc. (CIT) is an American financial holding company and bank holding company incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in New York City. CIT Bank, CIT's banking subsidiary, is headquartered in Pasadena, California. The company's name is an initialism of an early corporate name, Commercial Investment Trust.

CIT provides financing, leasing, and advisory services principally to middle-market companies and small businesses in a wide variety of industries, primarily in North America. CIT also provides banking and related services to commercial and individual customers through its banking subsidiary, CIT Bank, which includes over 60 branches located in Southern California and a direct bank.

As of 2020, the company is ranked 732th on the Fortune 1000 list of the largest American companies[2] and is on the list of largest banks in the United States.[3]

CIT filed for bankruptcy protection on November 1, 2009, and with the consent of its bondholders, emerged from bankruptcy 38 days later, on December 10, 2009.[4][5] In August 2015, CIT Group acquired OneWest Bank, a regional bank based in Southern California.[6]

On October 16, 2020, First Citizens BancShares announced the pending acquisition of CIT Group.[7][8][9][10]

Current operations[edit]

CIT manages its business and reports its financial results in three operating segments: Commercial Banking, Consumer Banking, and Non-Strategic Portfolios.[1]

Commercial Banking[edit]

CIT's Commercial Banking provides a range of lending, leasing and deposit products, as well as ancillary products and services, including factoring, cash management, and advisory services, primarily to small and medium-sized companies, as well as to the rail industry. The segment consists of four divisions:[1]

Commercial Finance[edit]

Provides commercial lending and deposit products, as well as cash management and advisory services, primarily to small and middle market companies. The division provides financing, treasury management, and capital markets products in a wide range of industries, including aerospace and defense, aviation, communication, energy, entertainment, gaming, healthcare, industrials, maritime, restaurants, retail, services, and technology.

Real Estate Finance[edit]

Originates and underwrites senior secured commercial real estate transactions for single properties, property portfolios and loan portfolios. The division focuses on properties with a stable cash flow, provides financing to reposition existing properties, and originates construction loans to highly experienced and well capitalized developers.


Two CEFX switching locomotives

Leases locomotives and freight cars to various railroads and shippers in North America that need them. It operates by the reporting mark CEFX.

Business Capital[edit]

Provides leasing and equipment financing to small businesses and middle market companies on both an indirect and direct basis. Additionally, the division provides factoring, receivable management, and secured financing to businesses across several industries.

  • Indirect: assists manufacturers and distributors in growing sales, profitability, and customer loyalty by providing customized, value-added finance solutions[buzzword].
  • Direct: provides financing solutions[buzzword] to its borrowers and lessees.

Consumer Banking[edit]

Logo of CIT Bank
Logo of CIT Bank

CIT's Consumer Banking consists of three divisions:[1]

Retail Banking[edit]

Retail Banking is the primary deposit gathering business of CIT Bank and operates through a network of retail branches in Southern California, through its OneWest Bank division, and an online direct channel.

Consumer Lending[edit]

Offers conforming and jumbo residential mortgage loans, primarily in Southern California.

SBA Lending[edit]

Originates qualified Small Business Administration loans.

Non-Strategic Portfolios ("NSP")[edit]

CIT's NSP segment includes businesses and portfolios the company no longer considers strategic.[1]


Founding and early history[edit]

On February 11, 1908, Henry Ittleson founded the Commercial Credit and Investment Company in St. Louis, Missouri.[11]

In 1915, the company moved its headquarters to New York City and renamed itself Commercial Investment Trust and went by the initials of C.I.T. By that time, the company provided financing for wholesale suppliers and producers of consumer goods. The company added automobile financing to its product line in 1916, through an agreement with Studebaker, the first of its kind in the auto industry. During World War I, CIT financed the manufacture of 150 submarine chasers. It also added consumer financing of radios through an agreement with Thomas Edison, Inc. During the Roaring 20s following the war, consumer spending rose dramatically and CIT prospered in its consumer appliance, furniture, and automobile financing groups. In 1924, CIT incorporated in Delaware and listed its stock on the New York Stock Exchange. CIT entered the field of factoring in 1928 and expanded operations into Europe in 1929.[12]

With international tensions rising prior to World War II, CIT closed its German operations in 1934. Arthur O. Dietz succeeded Ittleson as president of the company in 1939. During the war, CIT offered its 2000 employees a month's bonus, life insurance, and a guaranteed job on return if they served in the United States Armed Forces. Between 1947 and 1950, the company's net income rose from $7.3 million to $30.8 million. Ittleson died at age 77 on October 27, 1948.[12]

1950s - 1990s[edit]

The company moved into a new building at 650 Madison Avenue in Manhattan in 1957. In 1960, Walter Lundell succeeded Dietz as president of the company. Five years later, in 1959, the company passed $100 billion ($888 billion in recent terms) in financing volume since its founding. The Vietnam War racial turmoil of the 1960s resulted in CIT making changes to its business. In 1969, CIT entered the personal and home equity loan and leasing business and left auto financing. In 1979, restrictive banking rules forced CIT to sell its bank, National Bank of North America. CIT was acquired by RCA Corporation in 1980. RCA promptly sold CIT's four manufacturing businesses: Picker X-Ray, Inc., Gibson Greeting Cards, Inc., All-Steel, Inc. (office furniture), and Raco, Inc. (wall boxes for electric switches and outlets.) The Madison Avenue building was sold in 1982 as the company moved to a newly constructed headquarters facility in Livingston, New Jersey in 1983.[12]

In 1984, CIT was sold to Manufacturers Hanover Trust.[12] In 1989, Manufacturers Hanover Trust sold 60% of CIT to Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank of Japan.[12]

In 1991, the company acquired Fidelcor Business Credit Corporation, which increased its services to small businesses. In 1992, CIT opened 15 new offices in 7 states.[12]

In 1997, the company became a public company via an initial public offering that raised $850 million.[12][13]

On November 15, 1999, CIT acquired Toronto-based Newcourt Credit Group in a $4.2 billion transaction, which created one of the largest publicly owned leasing companies.[14][15]

Early 2000s[edit]

In 2000, CIT announced record earnings of $611.6 million, an increase of 57.1% from the prior year, which was largely attributed to the acquisition of Newcourt the year before.[16]

Salmon Tower Building: CIT Group's Headquarters in New York City

In 2001, Tyco acquired CIT for $9.2 billion in stock.[17][18][19] CIT was renamed as Tyco Capital.[20]

Tyco ran into operating troubles and sold or spun off non-core operations, including CIT. On July 8, 2002, Tyco completed its divestment of its Tyco Capital business through an initial public offering, via the sale of 100% of the common shares in CIT Group Inc.[21][22]

In 2006, CIT moved its global headquarters back to New York City, opening a new headquarters at 11 West 42nd Street, across from the New York Public Library.[23] CIT retained its Livingston campus as its corporate headquarters.

Under the leadership of CEO Jeff Peek, assets at CIT rose 77% from 2004 to the end of 2007 as it acquired companies in education lending and subprime mortgages. Those acquisitions turned out to be disastrous for the company and in the following eight quarters, CIT reported more than $3 billion in losses.[24]

Great Recession[edit]

On July 1, 2008, CIT Group announced that it would sell its home lending division to Lone Star Funds for $1.5 billion in cash and the assumption of $4.4 billion in debt and announced that it would sell its manufactured housing loan portfolio, with a face value of $470 million in loans, to Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance for approximately $300 million.[25][26][27]

In 2008, CIT became a bank holding company in order to receive $2.3 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds.

On July 15, 2009, CIT's request for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation loan guarantees was rejected.[28] At 6:03 PM, the company issued a press release stating that talks of a government bailout were unlikely and that the company had been advised that there was "no appreciable likelihood of additional government support being provided over the near term"[29] and that it was very close to declaring bankruptcy.[30][31][32]

On July 19, 2009, the company received a bailout via a $3 billion deal via an agreement with the bondholders group, which included Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) and other large bond holders.[33] CIT said it planned a comprehensive restructuring of its liabilities.[34]

Effective July 24, 2009, CIT was removed from the S&P 500 Index.[35]

Bankruptcy and Reorganization[edit]

On Sunday, November 1, 2009, CIT Group filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11.[36][37][38]

On December 10, 2009, CIT satisfied all of the conditions required to consummate the prepackaged Plan of Reorganization, which included the cancellation of existing debt and shares and the issuance of new debt and publicly traded shares.[39]

As part of the reorganization plan, CIT named seven new independent directors. On January 19, 2010, Peter J. Tobin, a member of the board of directors, was named interim Chief Executive Officer, replacing Jeff Peek, who resigned effective January 15, 2010.[40] On February 8, 2010, former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was hired as chairman and Chief Executive Officer.[41]

OneWest Bank acquisition[edit]

OneWest Bank Headquarters in Pasadena, California

On July 22, 2014, CIT Group announced an agreement to acquire OneWest Bank for $3.4 billion in cash and stock.[42] OneWest Bank was established on March 19, 2009 by IMB Holdco, a holding company owned by a consortium of private equity investors led by Steven Mnuchin.[43]

The California Reinvestment Coalition was concerned about the possibility of the FDIC's loss-sharing agreement with OneWest being transferred to CIT Group and the growth of a bank that is considered too big to fail and so it filed a Freedom of Information Act request in October 2014 seeking information about the amount of money paid out to OneWest's investors under the loss-share agreement and what conversations FDIC staff have had with the leadership of OneWest Bank and CIT Group.[44] On July 21, 2015, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve approved CIT Group's acquisition of OneWest Bank.[45] The acquisition closed on August 3, 2015.[6]

2016 to present[edit]

In March 2016, CEO John Thain stepped down and was succeeded by Ellen Alemany, a member of the board of directors.[46] Alemany previously led the Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s businesses in the Americas and also held various titles at Citigroup.[47]

Upon taking the roles of CEO in April 2016 and chairwoman in May 2016, Alemany began simplifying the company by having lending and deposit-gathering be its focus and divesting from its riskier, non-core businesses.[48]

In April 2017, the company sold its aircraft lease business to Avolon for $10.38 billion.[49]

In October 2017, the company sold Financial Freedom, acquired as part of the acquisition of OneWest Bank, and its reverse mortgage portfolio.[50]

In October 2018, the company sold its European rail leasing business, NACCO, which was its last overseas operation.[51]

In January 2020, CIT completed the acquisition of Mutual of Omaha Bank.[52][53]

In October, CIT agreed to be acquired by First Citizens BancShares.[8]

CEO-to-worker pay ratio[edit]

Pursuant to Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, publicly traded companies are required to disclose (1) the median total annual compensation of all employees other than the CEO and (2) the ratio of the CEO’s annual total compensation to that of the median employee.[54]

Total 2018 compensation for Ellen Alemany, CEO, amounted to $8,961,198, and total compensation of the median employee was determined to be $93,605. The resulting pay ratio is estimated to be 96:1.[55]


In January 2019, CIT announced it had joined the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team as the exclusive banking sponsor. The announcement occurred at the “Roar Before the 24” event, a three-day event before the season-opening Rolex 24 at the Daytona International Speedway.[56]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "CIT Group Inc. 2019 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ "CIT Group". Fortune.
  3. ^ "Federal Reserve: Statistical Release Large Commercial Banks". Federal Reserve. February 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "CIT Group Chapter 11 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. November 1, 2009.
  5. ^ "CIT Leaves Bankruptcy, With Questions". The New York Times. December 10, 2009.
  6. ^ a b "CIT Completes Acquisition of OneWest Bank" (Press release). Business Wire. August 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "First Citizens BancShares, Inc. and CIT Group Inc. Announce Transformational Partnership to Create a Top-Performing Commercial Bank" (Press release). Globe Newswire. October 16, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Kline, Alan (October 16, 2020). "First Citizens to buy CIT for $2.2 billion". American Banker.
  9. ^ McCaffrey, Orla (October 16, 2020). "First Citizens to Buy CIT Group". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Ponciano, Jonathan (October 16, 2020). "A New Big Bank Is Born: First Citizens Buys CIT Group To Create A $100 Billion Institution". Forbes.
  11. ^ ARENSON, KAREN W. (July 27, 1979). "C.I.T. Likes to Take Its Time". The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "CHRONOLOGY: A century of CIT, from St Louis to New York". Reuters. November 1, 2009.
  13. ^ REEVES, SCOTT (December 15, 1997). "Best and Worst". Barron's.
  14. ^ Greenberg, Larry M.; Zuckerman, Gregory (March 9, 1999). "CIT to Acquire Newcourt Credit In Stock Deal for $4.12 Billion". The Wall Street Journal.
  15. ^ "Credit gambit: CIT Group Inc. agreed to acquire Newcourt". Chicago Tribune. March 8, 1999.
  16. ^ "CIT Group Inc. 2000 Annual Report" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Tyco buying CIT for $9.2B". CNN. March 13, 2001.
  18. ^ Deogun, Nikhil; Lipin, Steven; Maremont, Mark (March 13, 2001). "Tyco International to Acquire CIT Group for $9.2 Billion". The Wall Street Journal.
  19. ^ Chin, Spencer (March 13, 2001). "Tyco set to acquire finance company CIT". EE Times.
  20. ^ "Tyco calls its plans to split up "a mistake'". Tampa Bay Times. September 3, 2005.
  21. ^ "Tyco raises $4.6-billion in CIT spinoff". The Globe and Mail. Bloomberg News. July 2, 2002.
  22. ^ Maremont, Mark (July 24, 2002). "Tyco Posts $2.32 Billion Loss, Cites Downturn, CIT Spinoff". The Wall Street Journal.
  23. ^ "CIT Opens New Global Headquarters in New York City" (Press release). PR Newswire. April 27, 2006.
  24. ^ Creswell, Julie (May 4, 2008). "A Lender Gets Caught in the Currents". The New York Times.
  25. ^ "CIT Sells Home Loan Business to Lone Star". The New York Times. July 1, 2008.
  26. ^ Comlay, Elinor (July 1, 2008). "CIT to shed $10 billion mortgage assets". Reuters.
  27. ^ "CIT Agrees to Sell Home Lending Business" (Press release). Business Wire. July 1, 2008.
  28. ^ de la Merced, Michael J. (July 15, 2009). "CIT Says It Won't Get More US Aid". The New York Times.
  29. ^ "CIT Announces That Discussions with Government Agencies Have Ceased" (Press release). Business Wire. July 15, 2009.
  30. ^ Barr, Colin (July 15, 2009). "CIT: No bailout for us". Fortune.
  31. ^ Appelbaum, Binyamin (July 16, 2009). "CIT Group Closer to Bankruptcy as U.S. Denies Aid". The Washington Post.
  32. ^ Jones, Sandra M. (July 15, 2009). "CIT Group's troubles could weigh heavily on retailers this holiday season". Los Angeles Times.
  33. ^ Bansal, Paritosh (July 19, 2009). "CIT clinches deal to stave off bankruptcy". Reuters.
  34. ^ "CIT gets $3 bln lifeline from bondholders". Reuters. July 20, 2009.
  35. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (July 20, 2009). "S&P 500 to drop CIT Group, add Red Hat". Reuters.
  36. ^ "CIT files for 5th largest U.S. bankruptcy". CNN. November 1, 2009.
  37. ^ de la Merced, Michael J. (November 1, 2009). "CIT to Test Speed of Bankruptcy Court". The New York Times.
  38. ^ "Commercial lending giant CIT files bankruptcy". NBC News. Associated Press. November 1, 2009.
  39. ^ "CIT Shares Commence Trading on New York Stock Exchange" (Press release). Business Wire. December 10, 2009.
  40. ^ "CIT Names Director Peter J. Tobin Interim Chief Executive Officer" (Press release). Business Wire. January 19, 2010.
  41. ^ "Former Merrill chief tapped to head CIT". CNN. February 8, 2010.
  42. ^ "CCIT to Acquire OneWest Bank for $3.4 Billion in Cash and Stock" (Press release). Business Wire. July 22, 2014.
  43. ^ Chernikoff, Helen (March 19, 2009). "OneWest completes acquisition of Indymac Assets". Reuters.
  44. ^ "California Reinvestment Coalition Urges Greater Transparency by Regulators in Merger Creating Too Big to Fail Bank" (Press release). Cision. October 3, 2014.
  45. ^ Ensign, Rachel Louise (July 21, 2015). "CIT Group Wins Key Federal Approval for Acquisition of OneWest Bank's Parent". The Wall Street Journal.
  46. ^ Ensign, Rachel Louise; Rudegeair, Peter (October 21, 2015). "John Thain to Retire as CIT CEO". The Wall Street Journal.
  47. ^ "John Thain of CIT Group Will Step Down as Chief Executive". The New York Times. October 22, 2015.
  48. ^ Broughton, Kristin (September 26, 2017). "How Ellen Alemany is reinventing CIT". American Banker.
  49. ^ "Avolon Completes US$10.38 Billion Acquisition of CIT Group Aircraft Leasing Business" (Press release). Business Wire. April 4, 2017.
  50. ^ "CIT Reaches Agreement to Sell Financial Freedom and Reverse Mortgage Portfolio" (Press release). PR Newswire. October 6, 2017.
  51. ^ "CIT Completes Sale of its European Rail Business". PR Newswire. October 5, 2018.
  52. ^ "CIT buys Mutual of Omaha Bank for $1 billion". HousingWire. January 2, 2020.
  53. ^ "CIT Completes Acquisition of Mutual of Omaha Bank" (Press release). PR Newswire. January 2, 2020.
  54. ^ "H.R.4173 - Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act". Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  55. ^ "CIT Group 2019 Proxy Statement". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. April 4, 2019.
  56. ^ "No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Team Welcomes CIT as Exclusive Banking Sponsor". CIT Group. January 4, 2019.

External links[edit]