First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Merchants and Farmers Bank

June 5, 2008

MADISON COUNTY, GA – June 1, 2008 – Columbia, S.C.-based First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc., parent company of First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc., completed the acquisition of Merchants and Farmers Bank headquartered in Madison County.

Merchants and Farmers Bank will continue to operate separately under its name as a subsidiary of First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. 

Johnny Terrell, CEO of Merchants and Farmers, said that the partnership with First Citizens will benefit its customers, though they will not experience significant changes since branch associates and bank signage will remain the same. He also stated that there are no plans to close any offices or consolidate staff. “We want the same friendly faces that customers know and trust to be there for them today, tomorrow, and in the future,” said Terrell. “The only thing that is changing is the ownership of the company. We realize our future success depends on the relationships our associates have with customers in our community.”

Merchants and Farmers operates six full-service offices in the communities of Comer, Colbert, Danielsville, Hull, and Ila. As of March 31, 2008, Merchants and Farmers had assets of $156 million and deposits of $133 million. As a part of the merger, Merchant and Farmers customers will receive expanded banking services, which include use of First Citizens’ network of more than 170 ATMs at no charge, and the ability to cash checks at any First Citizens branch.

First Citizens’ Chairman and CEO, Jim Apple, said that First Citizens’ presence in Georgia will be enhanced by the merger with Merchants and Farmers. “This strategic alliance will allow First Citizens to serve the citizens of Madison County while maintaining the personal touch and urgent service that defines our bank,” said Apple. “Our companies share a commitment to providing superior service to customers through local branch offices and locally-based leadership. We are dedicated to our customers, associates, and the communities we serve.”

About First Citizens

First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc., is the parent company of First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc., and The Exchange Bank of South Carolina, Inc. First Citizens Bank offers commercial and retail banking services through 170 offices in Georgia and South Carolina. As of March 31, 2008, First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. had total consolidated assets of $6.40 billion. For more information, visit the First Citizens web site at