Our History

In November 2015, Citizens Financial Group (NYSE: CFG) became a fully independent publicly-traded company, just over a year after the successful completion of the largest commercial bank initial public offering (IPO) in U.S. history. Citizens now embarks on a new and exciting chapter as we aspire to become a top-performing regional bank.

The First 150+ Years

Built on the principle that we succeed only when our customers succeed, Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the oldest and largest financial services firms in the United States. Our history dates back to High Street Bank, founded in 1828, which established Citizens Savings Bank in 1871. By 1981, we had grown to 29 branches in Rhode Island with approximately $1.0 billion of assets. In 1988 we became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBS Group.

A Bigger Bank Serving More Communities

Following our acquisition by RBS Group in 1988, we grew rapidly, largely through a series of over 25 strategic bank acquisitions as highlighted below. These acquisitions greatly expanded our footprint throughout New England and into the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest, transforming us from a local retail bank into one of the largest retail U.S. bank-holding companies with nearly $170.0 billion in assets at the start of the global financial crisis.

Along the way, one thing has never changed: We are committed to serving the well-being of our customers and the communities. Because when it comes right down to it, Citizens is not really our bank. It’s yours.

Becoming a Stand-alone U.S. Regional Bank

Following the global financial crisis, we undertook a number of decisive steps to reposition and strengthen our business profile, including:

  1. Transformed business mix: We have focused on achieving a more balanced business mix across our commercial and consumer businesses;
  2. Improved deposit mix to include a greater percentage of lower cost and more stable demand, checking, money market and savings accounts, and reduced our reliance on wholesale funding;
  3. Improved strategic focus: Identified and began reducing our exposure to certain non-core assets deemed to be inconsistent with our strategic goals, generally as a result of geographic location, industry, product type or risk level;
  4. Optimized our geographic footprint: Exited certain geographies where we had underperforming market share positions and redeployed the capital into businesses with more attractive growth and return characteristics. In 2008, we sold 18 branches in the New York Adirondacks region, and in 2009, we sold our Indiana branch franchise, which consisted of 65 branches. In 2012, we sold 57 mostly in-store branches in Long Island and Westchester County, New York, and on June 20, 2014, sold 103 Chicago retail branches along with certain assets and deposits;
  5. Refined our branch service delivery model: We have reduced our branch footprint while building out self-service channels through online and mobile banking;
  6. Increased infrastructure investment: Invested more than $1.0 billion in infrastructure and technology from 2009 to year end 2013.

In the years since the global financial crisis we have brought together a seasoned management team with an average of over 24 years of banking experience at large financial institutions. The team is focused on delivering improved returns, through a strong focus on organic growth and efficiency initiatives, along with a more disciplined allocation of capital and resources. This performance-driven culture is designed to enhance our competitiveness by rigorously analyzing the risk-return profiles of our diversified businesses and selectively investing in those that are well positioned to gain market share, improve efficiency and generate long-term growth and sustainable profitability.

CFG Acquisition History

Whole Bank & Thrift Deals*

Target/ Seller Completion Date Deal Value
($ million)
Target Total
GreatBanc, Inc. 2/1/2007 180.0 1,157,519
Charter One Financial, Inc. 8/31/2004 10,526.9 41,278,929
Thistle Group Holdings, Co. 1/5/2004 147.3 913,630
Community Bancorp, Inc. 10/31/2003 118.4 451,930
Port Financial Corp. 7/31/2003 308.4 1,469,265
Commonwealth Bancorp, Inc. 1/17/2003 494.5 1,763,820
Medford Bancorp Inc. 10/15/2002 281.9 1,446,167
UST Corporation 1/11/2000 1,412.0 5,929,827
Woburn National Corporation 8/13/1998 45.2 161,095
BNH Bancshares, Inc. 8/28/1997 58.3 342,229
Grove Bank 3/4/1997 91.8 598,507
Farmers & Mechanics Bank 11/6/1996 55.4 536,955
Bank of Ireland First Holdings, Inc. 4/26/1996 NA 4,178,370
Quincy Savings Bank 1/6/1995 147.9 832,556
Neworld Bancorp 4/14/1994 152.9 1,113,307
Boston Five Bancorp Inc. 10/14/1993 95.0 1,662,913
Bank of New England - Old Colony, NA 12/31/1990 75.0 1,199,264
Fairhaven Savings Bank 7/1/1988 39.1 260,718

Branch Deals*

Target/ Seller Completion Date Number of
Total Deposits
T: 350 Branches
S: Mellon Financial Corporation
12/1/2001 350 13,400,000
T: 4 Branches & Commercial Banking business of State Street
S: State Street Corporation
10/1/1999 4 1,600,000
T: 4 Branches
S: North Fork Bancorporation, Inc.
10/16/1998 4 67,000

Other Asset Deals*

/ Seller
Completion Date Deal Value
($ million)
Target Total
T: People's Bank credit card operations
S: People's United Financial
3/5/2004 2,435.2 NA

Government Assisted Transactions*

Target Announcement Date Target Assets
Deposits Transferred
Old Stone Bank, FSB 7/8/1994 546,000 NA
Coastal FSB/New London 5/20/1994 7,900 NA
New England Savings Bank 5/21/1993 740,000 NA
Plymouth Five Cents SB 9/18/1992 152,300 NA

Insurance Broker Deals*

Target/ Seller Completion Date Deal Value
($ million)
LTM Revenue
Feitelberg Company 2/28/2003 NA NA

Financial Technology Deals*

Target/ Seller Completion Date Deal Value
($ million)
Target Total
T: Lynk Systems, Inc.
S: Tech Crossover/Sutter Hill Ventures
9/16/2004 525.00 NA

Citizens had three acquisitions in different decades that helped shape the momentum of the Company prior to a period of rapid growth which began in 1988, the year Citizens Financial Group, Inc. was acquired by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Year Description
1947 High Street Bank. (In 1948, it became Citizens Trust Co.) [Citizens Savings Bank bought a controlling interest in its original parent.]
1954 Greenville Trust Company (RI)
May 31, 1986 Gulf States Mortgage Company, Atlanta (GA)

* Data provided by SNL Financial LC

Branch Divestitures

Bank & Thrift Branch Deals - Sales/Divestitures*

Target/Buyer Industry Type Announcement Date Completion Date Number of Branches Target State Total Deposits Transferred ($000)
T: 103 Branches
B: U.S. Bancorp
Bank 1/7/2014 6/20/2014 103 IL 4,800,000
T: 57 Branches
B: People's United Financial, Inc.
Bank 2/28/2012 6/22/2012 57 NY 325,000
T: 65 Branches
B: Old National Bancorp
Bank 11/24/2008 3/20/2009 65 IN 426,800
T: 18 Branches
B: Community Bank System, Inc.
Bank 6/25/2008 11/7/2008 18 NY 565,045

* Data provided by SNL Financial LC