New Jersey state regulators closed Harvest Community Bank in Pennsville in the year’s first failure.

The $126.4 million-asset Harvest’s operations, including four branches, were sold to a unit of First Citizens BancShares in Raleigh, N.C. First Citizens agreed to assume all of Harvest’s $123.8 million of deposits and to purchase essentially all of the assets.

The failure is estimated to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $22.3 million. Harvest is the first New Jersey bank to be closed since Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank in April 2012.

The $33 billion-asset First Citizens, along with a predecessor bank, has acquired more than a dozen failed institutions since 2009, including two last year. In doing so, the company has built a network of far-flung markets including Denver, Los Angeles and Milwaukee.

The company has also been pursuing whole-bank deals, such as last year’s purchase of Cordia Bancorp in Midlothian, Va. The Federal Reserve recently approved the company’s application to increase its stake in Carter Bank in Martinsville from 4.9% to up to 9%.

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