Photo Release -- Coules Joins First Citizens Bank as Chief Risk Officer

RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Citizens Bank announced today that Blake Coules has joined the company as Chief Risk Officer.

Blake Coules, Chief Risk Officer, First Citizens Bank

A photo accompanying this release is available at

Coules has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, primarily in the risk and credit areas. He comes to First Citizens from VantageSouth Bank, where he was chief credit officer, led a team of risk professionals and served on risk, credit and other key bank committees.

Prior to his time with VantageSouth, Coules spent many years at RBC Bank and also worked briefly at PNC. His various roles with those organizations included vice president, commercial risk; senior manager, risk management; chief data officer; and senior vice president, real estate markets and special assets group.

"We are fortunate to have a professional of Blake's caliber on board as Chief Risk Officer," said Frank Holding, chairman and chief executive officer of First Citizens Bank. "His substantial expertise in risk and credit and his extensive leadership qualities make him an important addition to our company."

As First Citizens' Chief Risk Officer, Coules is responsible for administering the Enterprise Risk Management process to address risk across the bank and for integrating risk management with strategy. He also oversees the bank's compliance, credit risk, operational risk and risk analytics functions. He is based at First Citizens' headquarters on Six Forks Road in midtown Raleigh. He will report to Chairman and CEO Holding and the Corporate Board Risk Committee.

Coules holds a bachelor's degree in commerce from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the Executive Program at the University of Western Ontario's Ivey School of Business. He resides in Raleigh and currently sits on the boards of Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina and the Carolina Hurricanes' Kids 'N Communities Foundation.

Founded in 1898, First Citizens Bank serves in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., the bank is a major subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq:FCNCA), which has $22 billion in assets.

The bank has been the recipient of multiple national awards for customer satisfaction and overall stability and security. For more information about First Citizens Bank, call toll free 1-888-FC DIRECT (1-888-323-4732) or visit First Citizens Bank. Forever First®.

CONTACT: Barbara Thompson First Citizens Bank 919-716-2716Source:First Citizens BancShares, Inc.