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Citizens appoints Edward “Ned” O. Handy III to President, Citizens Bank, Rhode Island replacing Joseph J. MarcAurele

PROVIDENCE, R.I.               (July 22, 2009) - Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (CFG) today announced that Edward "Ned" O. Handy III, President of Citizens Real Estate Finance, has been appointed President, Citizens Bank, Rhode Island, replacing Joseph J. MarcAurele, who has decided to leave the company. Handy, 47, is a member of CFG's Executive Leadership Group and is based in Providence. He reports to CFG Vice Chairman Robert D. Matthews, Jr., the company's head of Commercial Banking.

"With nearly 25 years banking experience, including numerous leadership positions within CFG, and a passion for supporting community organizations, Ned's talents and experience as a business and community leader will not only benefit our Rhode Island operations, but the community organizations, initiatives and customers we serve here as the state's largest bank," said Ellen Alemany, Chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group.

Handy, a Rhode Island resident, will retain his Commercial Real Estate Finance oversight responsibilities for the CFG footprint. He joined CFG in 1995 as a commercial banker in Rhode Island and since then has held numerous senior leadership roles throughout the CFG franchise. Prior to his appointment as President of Citizens Bank in Rhode Island, Handy served as President of Citizens Real Estate Finance, overseeing CFG's commercial real estate finance division, across its franchise. Previously, he served as President of CFG's Midwest bank Charter One in Ohio from 2004 to 2008, overseeing the bank's commercial, business banking and retail operations. In Ohio, he was active on several boards, including Greater Cleveland Partnership, United Way of Greater Cleveland and Neighborhood Progress, Inc.

From 1999 to 2004, Handy was President of Citizens Bank, Connecticut, with responsibility for all commercial banking activity, including commercial lending, commercial real estate lending and community banking. He was actively involved with several nonprofits, including Read to Grow, an organization that Citizens helped create to provide books to under-served children in the state.

Prior to joining CFG, Handy spent 10 years at Fleet Financial Group in Providence, where he held positions in commercial real estate lending and in the managed asset division. A graduate of Brown University with a bachelor's degree in urban studies, Handy is active in the local community.

"I am honored to have this opportunity and look forward to joining my Rhode Island colleagues in supporting the customers and communities we have the privilege of serving throughout the state," said Handy.

Regarding MarcAurele's departure, Alemany said, "We thank Joe for his leadership and contributions to Citizens. During his tenure, he earned the respect of his colleagues and the community, and I wish him well."

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $167 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,450 branches, approximately 2,650 ATMs and approximately 23,000 employees. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-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. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).