RALEIGH – First Citizens Bank has laid off some 500 workers at Silicon Valley Bank, which the Raleigh based company recently acquired after it was seized by federal regulators, multiple media reports say.

In confirming the layoffs – but not the reported number – First Citizens labeled the cuts as a “had to make” decision in order to “right-size.”

“Given the challenges faced by SVB earlier this year, we had to make the decision to right-size our scope and scale to remain competitive and ensure we have the strongest foundation in place to drive sustainable growth,” Barbara Thompson, the executive director for Brand and Communications Strategy, at the bank, told WRAL TechWire in a statement.

“To that end we announced staffing adjustments today in select SVB corporate functions, not client-facing positions,” she added.

The news was first reported by news site Axios

“Given the challenges faced by SVB in early 2023, it is increasingly clear that we must make decisions to right-size our scope and scale to remain competitive,” said First Citizens CEO Frank Holding Jr. in an email to employees, according to Axios.

“As a result, we are taking difficult but necessary actions to ensure that our workforce and costs are appropriate for a bank our size. That means that some members of our team will be transitioning out of the business effective today.”

Later, The San Francisco Standard said more layoffs may be coming.

“Laid-off workers were told in meetings with human resources staff they would remain employees of the bank until June 9, with additional details about severance coming via email,” the news site said.

Both reports said Holding told employees that none of those being laid off were in “customer facing” positions or part of its support team in India.

The layoffs are less than 3% of the SVB workforce, Axios reported, citing an unnamed source.

First Citizens had just over 10,000 employees at the end of 2022 and before the SVB deal made in March.

Earlier this week, First Citizens sued a rival bank, alleging it poached SVB workers  to set up a business unit that would compete with it. First Citizens is seeking $1 billion damages.

First Citizens shares closed down more than $5 to close at $1,292.74. Shares have more than doubled since the deal was announced.

First Citizens sues rival over poaching Silicon Valley Bank employees