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Citizens Bank presents annual results of $142 million economic and community initiative to Delaware County Council

Revitalization program exceeds five-year goals a year early

 PHILADELPHIA   (September 22, 2009) - Citizens Bank, in partnership with Delaware County Council, announced today that with another year still remaining, it has already exceeded its   five-year, $142 million commitment in support of the Delaware County Revitalization Program.

In a presentation today before the Delaware County Council, Citizens Bank executives reported that the bank has exceeded the program’s total five-year goal by $1.9 million in just four years. An analysis of the results indicates that $143.9 million was delivered in loans and grants for projects and programs that foster affordable housing, home improvement, economic development, financial literacy, small business and commercial development.

“Even in a struggling economy, we were able to exceed our total program goals and we still have a year to go,” said Ralph J. Cicalese, Citizens Bank’s Market Executive for Delaware County. “We are delighted that the program has helped so many people, particularly homeowners and small business owners, and we are grateful for the Delaware County Council and its ongoing interest in making the program a success.”

“The Delaware County Revitalization Program has paid great dividends in revitalizing our municipalities, especially in a time of economic concern,” said Linda A. Cartisano, Esq., Chairman of the Delaware County Council. “There’s still much to do, so we look forward to continuing to work with Citizens Bank to improve our county.”

Cicalese and members of the Delaware County Council announced the cumulative program results during a special presentation held in the County Council Public Meeting Room. Highlights of the results include: $49.4 million in small business loans, $40 million in mortgage loans, $2.2 million in “EZ” home improvement loans, and $51.5 million in other consumer and business loans and $334,000 in commercial real estate loans made throughout the six planning regions designated under the Delaware County Revitalization plan, as well as other low- to moderate-income census tracks in Delaware County.

Over the past four years, more than 2,300 homeowners and businesses have been helped by the lending program, including a machine parts manufacturer in Delaware County.   

“In this economy, I am grateful to be able to stay in business,” said Charles Martinell, owner of Martinell Machine LLC, who has been operating in Media since 1991. “If it hadn’t been for Citizens Bank, I would have been out of business by June.”

Martinell said when the economy faltered, he couldn’t drop his overhead costs fast enough to combat his diminished income. The Citizens Bank loan he received enabled him to cover fixed costs such as machine payments and insurance. The money provided much needed funds during the downturn and now his business is recovering as customers replenish their inventory.

In addition to the lending component, the Citizens Bank Foundation has provided $467,000 in grants to numerous Delaware County nonprofits, benefiting more than 1,000 county residents. Recipient agencies include the Community Action Agency of Delaware County for a fuel assistance program, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs with PathwaysPA, urban renewal through the Widener Small Business Development Center, and training and technical assistance offered by Chester Microenterprise Partnership.

Citizens Bank’s Gear for Grades program has supported 2,200 county children with new backpacks and school supplies.

Through the Delaware County Revitalization Program, Citizens Bank’s support has aided more than 5,500 Delaware County consumers, small businesses and families.
About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania

Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has 367 branches and 648 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 15 retail branches and 64 ATMs in southern New Jersey and a commercial loan office in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $153 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has 1,480 branches, and approximately 3,600 ATMs and approximately 23,000 employees. 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 as of June 30, 2009. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).

About the Delaware County Revitalization Program

The Delaware County Revitalization Program was established by County Council in 2003 to encourage economic development and smart growth in all 49 municipalities through two distinct but related initiatives. One initiative seeks to guide revitalization
efforts in the County's first-generation municipalities by making them more attractive, livable, safe, and economically viable. This initiative encompasses 29 municipalities, including 22 boroughs, six townships and the City of Chester. Each of these five revitalization planning areas has developed and adopted an Action Plan prioritizing objectives and specific projects to cooperatively work toward achieving this goal.