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RBS Citizens Financial Group expands Education Finance business to offer private student loans across continental U.S.

Expansion to help more students and their families access variable- and fixed-rate TruFit Student Loan options as college tuitions and other costs continue to rise

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (May 16, 2012) – RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (RBSCFG) today announced the expansion of its student lending business and now is offering private student loans to college students across the 48 contiguous states. Eligible students must be enrolled at least half-time in a four-year undergraduate or graduate program. RBSCFG operates as Citizens Bank in New England and the Mid-Atlantic and as Charter One in the Midwest.

With this expansion, the bank is making its TruFit Student Loan available to students who live or attend school outside of the 12 states served by Citizens Bank and Charter One, in addition to its traditional markets.

"The rising cost of college continues to challenge many students and their families, and we are committed to making higher education affordable and attainable,” said Brendan Coughlin, President of Education Finance, RBS Citizens Financial Group. "We have seen a terrific response from our customers since launching the TruFit Student Loan in 2009 and are excited now to help even more students benefit from our competitive rates and our consultative approach to helping them finance their education. Of course federal loans remain an important part of the equation for many students, but others will find better rates and more flexibility in our private student loans.”

The TruFit Student Loan is available with a fixed or variable rate, giving students the ability to choose the option that bests fits their needs. The fixed rate is as low as 6.75% APR to 12.75% APR. The variable rate is as low as 2.94% APR to 9.99% APR. TruFit Student Loan borrowers receive a 0.50% interest rate reduction for automatic payments from any eligible Citizens Bank or Charter One account or a 0.25% interest rate reduction for automatic payments from accounts at other banks. The TruFit Student Loan also offers three repayment choices: immediate, interest-only or deferred until six months after graduation.

To help students decide what federal or private student loans are best for them, the bank’s Education Finance experts work with students to ensure they are aware of the federal aid available to them and that they have fully explored those options before making a decision about a private college loan.

RBSCFG certifies loan amounts with colleges to help ensure that students only borrow what they need to fund their education, including indirect costs such as books and personal expenses. It also offers online tips and tools to help students prepare and save for college as well as find information on how to apply for financial aid and college loans. For example, the site includes a financing calendar with important dates and deadlines for securing funding and a student loan calculator to help students determine how much they will need to borrow to pay for college and how much they will owe once they graduate.

To learn more about the TruFit Student Loan, students can apply online at www.citizensbank.com/trufitstudentloan or www.charterone.com/trufitstudentloan or speak to an education finance specialist between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET weekdays at (800) 708-6684 or (800) 721-3969.

About RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $130 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has more than 1,460 branches, approximately 3,800 ATMs and approximately 19,200 colleagues. 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. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).