Shining Light Company – First Citizens Bank

This week, we have chosen to spotlight First Citizens Bank (Symbol: FCNCA) as our Shining Light Company. Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, NC, First Citizens serves clients with a broad range of banking services from over 571 branches in 18 states.

Awards and Recognition

In recent years, they have been the recipient of several honors and awards for customer satisfaction, sustainable profitability, and overall stability and security. Some of these include:

  • Named #17 in Forbes 2013 Best Banks in America
  • MONEY® Magazine’s 2012 Best Midsize Regional Bank
  • Numerous Greenwich Excellence Awards (Banking Industry award)
  • Superior Five Star Rating from BauerFinancial, Inc.

Obviously, all those honors did not come about by accident – they were earned (and continue to be earned) because of a steadfast commitment to its core values of Integrity, Stability, and Service Excellence. They strive to focus on the needs of each individual customer and put those needs first. That requires a relationship built on trust, and they seek to validate it and exceed expectations each and every day. Equally as important is the safety and soundness of the both the business itself and the assets they steward. Because of its strength and solid capital levels, First Citizens never needed or took government funding (TARP) when so many other banks were struggling to survive. The third part of the equation – service excellence – denotes a high level of personal service and true financial partnership. They want to make sure customers stay informed and educated with the tools and information they need to help them succeed for generations to come.

Philanthropy and Service

A commitment to education and helping people succeed expands beyond the walls of the local branch office. One of the many ways First Citizens gives back is through sponsorship of hundreds of financial literacy programs in local classrooms and bringing children into their branches to learn about banking. They also help teach adults and community groups about important topics like budgeting and saving and frequently hold local seminars on topics like first-time home buying. Other efforts include taking a leadership role in local United Way campaigns and partnering with like-minded organizations to support our troops.

First Citizens has also intentionally focused on supporting teenagers diagnosed with cancer. They cite the importance of family, a belief incorporated into the very foundation of the business. As a result, First Citizens has pledged to support hospitals working with Teen Cancer America to build Teen Cancer spaces dedicated to serving this marginalized and displaced age group. First Citizens believes that teenagers deserve to live as normal a life as possible while simultaneously fighting a horrible disease.

For more information about this worthy cause, please visit:

People over Profits

While awards and accomplishments are important to company success, an essential component that all Shining Light companies share is a commitment employee satisfaction and excellence. First Citizens Bank has earned rave reviews from those directly inside the workforce. Employees have remarked that the company provides excellent retirement plans as well as affordable health insurance options. Another aspect of the company cited as a reason for continued employment is the opportunity for growth and advancement within the company. Shining Light Companies value people over profits, and this starts with how First Citizens treats their employees. This business is clearly committed to serving their employees in an ethical and good-faith fashion.


While many of these examples may not stand out in comparison to some the other well-deserving companies we have spotlighted – for instance, developing cancer-fighting drugs or saving children from starvation in third-world countries – their efforts are nevertheless important. It is encouraging to find an example of a company with such a strong commitment to put people first and be a good corporate citizen – a good steward – and use their time, talents, and resources to be a blessing. For that, we are pleased to name First Citizens Bank as this week’s Shining Light Company!

DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.