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Citizens Bank and its partner Cradles to Crayons collecting school supplies for Massachusetts children in need

Initiative to help more than 3,000 children in Mass. and more than 20,000 in New England

BOSTON              (July 13, 2009) - For the fourth consecutive year, Citizens Bank is collecting new school supplies for low-income children in Massachusetts. Beginning today, pencils, pens, notebooks and other supplies can be donated at any Citizens Bank branch in the state through August 2. This year’s Gear for Grades program is in collaboration with Cradles to Crayons.

Gear for Grades has helped more than 8,000 children in Massachusetts return to school with the essential supplies they need to succeed. This year, more than 3,000 backpacks filled with new school supplies will be donated to children throughout the state. More than 20,000 backpacks will be distributed by Citizens throughout New England as part of this year’s Gear for Grades program.

“We are proud of the Gear for Grades program and the difference it has made to the thousands of local children who have returned to school with the tools that help prepare them for a year of learning,” said Robert E. Smyth, president, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “We are delighted to once again partner with our friends at Cradles to Crayons and thank our customers and the public in advance for supporting this program that brings a smile to so many children in need.”

Cradles to Crayons, an innovative nonprofit organization providing essential everyday supplies to low-income and homeless children, will distribute the backpacks to children in need across Massachusetts.

“In these difficult economic times, purchasing basic back to school supplies will be more challenging than ever for thousands of low-income families,” said Lynn Margherio, Founder and CEO of Cradles to Crayons. “We are grateful to Citizens Bank and its customers for supporting this program, which will send children back to school with the tools they need to succeed and the knowledge that people care about their academic success.”

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 251 branches and 585 ATMs in Massachusetts.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $167 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. 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).