Citizens Trust Bank Secures $15 Million Line of Credit for CSX Corporation

Win-Win Agreement Includes 14 Minority Owned Banking Institutions

ATLANTA, Aug. 2, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Citizens Bancshares Corporation (OTCBB:CZBS), parent company of Citizens Trust Bank (CTB), announced today the establishment of a $15 million revolving credit facility for CSX Corporation of Jacksonville, Florida. Citizens Trust Bank, lead administrative agent, coordinated this transaction with a syndicate of minority-owned banks throughout the United States served by CSX's rail subsidiary, CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT).

The $15 million credit facility is led by Citizens Trust Bank of Atlanta whose President, James Young, said, "This agreement represents a significant transaction for our bank and our partners and evidence of the growing economic strength of minority-owned businesses."

CSX Chairman, CEO and President Michael Ward said, "Citizens Trust as lead arranger and its syndicate are key partners in our goal to diversify and enhance our financial relationships." He added that the additional credit facility would increase the company's ability to issue short-term commercial paper to offset expenses while strengthening CSX's cash availability.

Young and Ward spoke at a luncheon here where the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is holding its annual convention. Congresswoman Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, the SCLC convention's honorary chairwoman, invited the two companies "to share your story of building win-win relationships that enable minority businesses to flourish and provide good jobs for America's economy."

A total of 14 banks are participating. In addition to Citizens Trust, they are: The Adams National Bank, Washington, D.C.; EastBank N.A., New York, N.Y.; City National Bank of New Jersey, Newark; Legacy Bank, Milwaukee, Wisc.; Douglass National Bank, Kansas City, Kansas; State Bank of Texas, Dallas; Highland Community Bank, Chicago; Liberty Bank & Trust Company, New Orleans; United Bank of Philadelphia; Citizens Bank, Nashville, Tenn.; Mutual Community Savings Bank, Durham, N.C.; Carver State Bank, Savannah, Ga.; and Community Bank of South Carolina, Columbia.

Young said minority-owned businesses often find it difficult to open doors with more established companies. "Once that door opens, it can lead to commercial opportunities that benefit people from all walks of life," Young said. "That's what our new relationship with CSX means."

Ward said CSX is committed to increasing minority business relationships across the board. "Good business fundamentals include diversity in all aspects of the enterprise, and CSX is committed to that ideal," he said.

CSX continually updates its supplier database to ensure that minority suppliers are fully represented and actively contacted prior to purchasing decisions, and the purchasing team regularly reports on the percent of minority supplier business it does. In 2003, total purchasing with minority suppliers increased nearly $15 million.

CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., owns the largest rail network in the eastern United States. CSX Transportation Inc. and its 34,000 employees provide rail transportation services over a 23,000 route-mile network in 23 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. CSX Corporation also provides intermodal and global container terminal operations through other subsidiaries.

About Citizens Trust Bank

As the leader in the financial services industry, Citizens Trust Bank prides itself on offering a full range of quality products and services. Since 1921, the Bank has continued to fulfill its mission to promote financial stability and business development, stress the principles of thrift, and make home ownership a reality. Since its inception, CTB has remained dedicated to the growth and development of communities through superior products and extraordinary service.

Citizens Trust Bank is the third largest African American-owned financial institution in the nation and has 83 years of history, assets of more than $350 million and nine offices throughout metropolitan Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia, two branches in Birmingham, and one in Eutaw, Alabama. Through its parent company, Citizens Bancshares Corporation, CTB offers its common stock over-the-counter to the general public under the trading symbol CZBS. For more information please visit Citizens Trust Bank on the web at


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