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Citizens Bank names Guakía, Inc. as Champion in Action in Connecticut

New London, Ct.       (January 21, 2009) - Citizens Bank, Connecticut has announced that Guakía, Inc., a Hartford-based arts and cultural organization that promotes the preservation, reaffirmation, celebration and advancement of Latino culture and heritage through education, has been named its Champion in Action® for the first quarter of 2009 in the area of youth programming.

The award was announced by Rich Barry, president, Citizens Bank, Connecticut during an on-air segment during the noon newscast on WTNH earlier today. The award includes a $25,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Foundation.

“Citizens Bank is very excited to be working with Guakía, Inc., an organization committed to the youth of greater Hartford. The programs and services provided by this organization help kids build self confidence while opening young eyes and minds to the arts and culture,” said Barry.

Using a curriculum based on Puerto Rican, Spanish and Latin American music, dance, theater, art and literature, Guakía, Inc. connects young people to their Hispanic and Latino heritage in order to develop a strong sense of cultural pride, community awareness and self-esteem. The organization’s name, taken from the native Taino word meaning “we,” captures its philosophy and guiding principles to teach, reinforce, celebrate and unify the Hispanic community, regardless of where individuals live.

Founded in 1983, the arts and cultural organization has served more than 500 children through Guakiarte, Guakía’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and an additional 2,500 children through education outreach programs and workshops. It has been recognized and honored for its contribution to the educational development of talented musicians, artists, dancers, actors, writers and performers, many whom have achieved national and international success.

Champions in Action is a partnership between Citizens Bank and WTNH / MyTV 9 launched in 2002 to provide financial support and public awareness to the nonprofit organizations that work every day to champion change in our communities.

Each quarter, a nonprofit organization among a range of social service topics in Connecticut is recognized as a Champion in Action. Each champion in action receives the following support in addition to the $25,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Foundation:
• Media coverage from News Channel 8/MyTV9, including public service announcements.
• Volunteer support from both Citizens Bank and News Channel 8/MyTV9.
• Public relations support; and promotional support through visibility at Citizen Bank branches and citizensbank.com.

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 51 branches and 60 ATMs in Connecticut.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $161 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 13-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets and deposits. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).