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Citizens Bank offers support to Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut businesses, nonprofits and individuals affected by flooding

Providence, R.I.    (April 2, 2010) - Citizens Bank today announced it will offer a variety of financial support to businesses, nonprofits and individuals affected by the severe storms and flooding in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut that began on March 12, 2010.

"At Citizens Bank, we believe good banking is good citizenship," said Ellen Alemany, Chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group and RBS Americas. "We are pleased to provide local companies and individuals affected by the worst flooding in 200 years immediate access to interim financing while SBA financing is processed."

Citizens Bank's Rhode Island President, Ned Handy, said, "The effects of the flooding have been devastating to thousands of individuals, as well as local businesses that we, as a community, rely on for so much in our daily lives. As a good corporate citizen, our role is to support the businesses and individuals affected by this matter with the resources available to us – as a bank, and as a member of this community."

Support for Businesses and Nonprofits

  • Citizens Bank is offering Flood Disaster Bridge Loans to Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut business customers who have applied for federal disaster aid assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration as part of the federal government’s response to the severe storms and flooding that began on March 12.

    These bridge loans will provide money immediately to businesses to pay their  obligations and necessary operating expenses until such time as long-term  government funding is obtained through the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program.

    Citizens Bank worked with Mark Hayward, Rhode Island Director of the SBA, who said that bridge financing from Citizens Bank would be helpful for businesses and individuals in the interim until their application for SBA financing is approved.

    Beginning Monday, April 5, businesses can obtain a bridge loan at any Citizens Bank, or by calling 1-888-389-4222. A FEMA Disaster Loan Application number is required to apply for a Citizens Bank bridge loan.

        * Businesses can borrow up to $200,000 for 90 days at 4.00 percent, with payments of interest only.

        * Nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $200,000 for 90 days at 3.00 percent, with payments of interest only.

Support for Individuals

To help individuals, Citizens Bank is offering the following products and special offers.

  • $10,000 Unsecured Emergency Flood Loan – Individuals can borrow between $1,000 - $10,000 with an unsecured loan at 2.65 percent from 1 to 7 years with no prepayment penalty. To qualify, applicants must meet credit eligibility standards and have annual income less than $200,000.

  • Defer a Payment for Auto and Home Equity Loans – Customers can defer one payment on their Citizens Bank auto loan and/or Home Equity Loan.

  • 0% Interest Credit Card for Six Months – Individuals can apply for a new card with credit lines up to $15,000 with zero percent interest on new purchases and balance transfers for six months. There are no fees on balance transfers.

Customers can apply for a $10,000 Unsecured Emergency Flood Loan and Skip a Payment for Auto and Home Equity Loans beginning Monday, April 5. The 0% credit card offer is available beginning Tuesday, April 6. Customers can apply for these products/special offers by visiting a Citizens Bank branch, or by calling 1-866-992-4725. Loans are subject to credit eligibility.

Background on Federal Aid Programs

Following the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for Kent, Newport, Providence and Washington counties in Rhode Island, the U.S. Small Business Administration this week announced the availability of both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA for small businesses and nonprofit organizations in these counties.

The SBA also said that small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Bristol County in Rhode Island; New London and Windham counties in Connecticut and Bristol, Norfolk and Worcester counties in Massachusetts.

SBA Physical Disaster loans enable companies to apply for up to $2 million for repair or replacement of disaster-damaged real property, machinery, equipment fixtures, inventory and leasehold improvements. SBA Economic Injury loans enable companies to apply for the amount of economic injury and operating needs, but not in excess of what the business could have afforded had the disaster not occurred.

Interest rates available from the SBA are 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for nonprofit organizations.

To be considered for all forms of FEMA and/or SBA disaster assistance, first call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) and obtain a FEMA registration ID number. This number will be required to apply for disaster assistance with the SBA. The locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955  (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT or sending an email todisastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications to SBA for physical property damage is May 28, 2010. The deadline to return economic injury applications is December 29, 2010.

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 82 branches and 150 ATMs in Rhode Island.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $148 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 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. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).