| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Aug 13 Citizens Financial Group Inc's
commercial bank, RBS Citizens, said Wednesday it is
expanding its MidCorporate business nationwide, and has hired
commercial banking teams in five new cities. The focus will be
on providing increased financing capabilities to companies in
the healthcare, technology and other growth industries, as well
"This expansion is a continuation of the path we've been on
over the last five years to build a world class commercial
bank," Robert Matthews, Citizens' vice chairman for commercial
banking, told Thomson Reuters LPC in an interview. "It's really
a chance to step up the speed and pace with which we serve our
relevant customers through building industry verticals, product
investment, and upgrading systems and capabilities."
The move extends RBS Citizens' geographic reach beyond the
firm's traditional New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern
footprint. It has hired commercial banking teams in Washington,
D.C., Charlotte, N.C., Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles, as well
as added key staff to bolster capabilities in specialties such
as lender finance, treasury services and global markets.
Citizens' investment in and expansion of its commercial
banking business comes as a number of U.S. regional banks are
seeking to increase market share through targeting new
geographies, upgrading talent and building out existing
platforms and capabilities.
Atlanta-based SunTrust Robinson Humphrey last November
established corporate banking offices in Chicago, San Francisco
and Dallas. Birmingham, AL-based Regions Financial Corp and
Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T Corp also opened
corporate banking offices in Chicago to expand offerings to
middle market clients in that region.
As part of the nationwide expansion, RBS Citizens is adding
more than 70 people across all geographies and initiatives,
including some in the franchise business, with the new hires
weighted toward origination professionals.
"We have grown from a bank with a strong but regionally
focused Commercial Banking division to a top lead arranger of
syndicated loans for middle market companies," said Matthews.
Citizens' commercial banking business offers corporate,
institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of
wholesale banking products and services including lending and
deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange
and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty
finance and trade finance.
RBS Citizens' national expansion targets mid-corporates, or
businesses with $500 million to $2.5 billion in annual revenues.
The bank serves both corporate clients as well as private equity
"We will still see good opportunities from private equity
sponsors, which generate acquisition business, but the core
long-term growth will come from the corporate side," said
Providence, RI-based Citizens Financial Group is owned by
the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is planning to spin
off the U.S. banking operation. RBS has said it would sell 20-25
percent of Citizens by the end of 2014 through a U.S. IPO,
Reuters reported. Citizens Financial Group filed in May with
U.S. regulators for a public stock offering.
Citizens announced in June that it will change the name of
its commercial banking division from RBS Citizens to Citizens
Commercial Banking later this year.
(Editing By Michelle Sierra and Jon Methven)