Charter One to change its name to Citizens Bank in 2015

Charter One to change its name to Citizens Bank in 2015

Charter One branches in Ohio will be rebranded as Citizens Bank next year as part of a broader strategy to unify all of its brands.

This change, also scheduled for Citizens' Charter One branches in Michigan, will result in a uniform Citizens Bank presence across the company's 11-state retail footprint by mid-2015.

Citizens already uses the Citizens Bank brand in the other nine states where it has branches.

"The name Citizens has been a part of our heritage and culture as a company since 1871. We want to leverage this strong brand to provide a consistent, high-quality banking experience to all of our customers, wherever we do business," said Bruce Van Saun, Citizens Financial Group Chairman and CEO. "We aspire for Citizens to become a top-performing regional bank, and this rebranding effort is part of our strategy to grow our business in the Midwest and beyond."

Citizens started notifying customers of the 2015 change this week in a letter from Van Saun in which he noted that "while the name will change, everything else will remain the same. All of the products and services you currently enjoy will remain in place."

Business lines beyond retail banking also will receive new brands anchored in the Citizens name in the coming months. The Commercial Banking division is slated to transition from RBS Citizens to Citizens Commercial Banking in the fourth quarter of this year.

Select consumer lending businesses serving customers outside the Citizens retail footprint will be branded Citizens One.

Last month, Citizens announced the Ohio launch of Premier Banking, a wealth-management service now available to customers in 33 branches in Ohio.

Monday's rebranding announcement also follows a number of recent enhancements to Citizens' offerings for its Ohio customers through the company's Bank Better initiative focused on making banking more simple, clear and personal.

Recent Bank Better enhancements have included:

•         The $5 Overdraft Pass, which eliminates overdraft fees for transactions of $5 or less.

•         One Deposit Checking, where one deposit per statement period – of any amount – waives the monthly maintenance fee.

•         Upgraded ATMs that have extended the banking day, with deposits registering as late as 10 p.m. on business days.

•         Online and mobile banking enhancements including mobile check deposit feature that uses mobile devices' video functionality to quickly capture and deposit checks without blurry images or retakes.

•         Education Loan Refinance, which can help empower consumers to consolidate and refinance their private student loans.

The company's rebranding initiative is part of its overall effort to separate from its parent, RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland plc) and establish Citizens as a standalone company.

RBS has announced its intention to divest itself of its ownership of Citizens by the end of 2016 through a series of public offerings.

The company also recently updated its corporate name, changing it from RBS Citizens Financial Group to Citizens Financial Group.

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