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Citizens Bank colleague on loan to Cape Abilities

Norma Schmidt receives Community Service Sabbatical

BOSTON (February 23, 2011) Norma Schmidt, a loan services administrator in Citizens Bank’s Business Credit Services department, has been awarded a three-month Community Service Sabbatical. Beginning on Monday, February 28, Schmidt will be on loan for three months to Cape Abilities in Hyannis. The nonprofit organization provides jobs, homes, transportation and other services for people with disabilities across Cape Cod.

As Citizens’ latest Community Service Sabbatical recipient, Schmidt is working with the Hyannis-based organization as a full-time volunteer for three months during a paid leave of absence from the bank. Her sabbatical runs through May.

During her time at Cape Abilities, Schmidt will help the organization strengthen its development and community relations efforts. Her focus will include increasing awareness and coordinating institutional outreach to optimize and diversify corporate partnerships, including fundraising for the annual Cape Abilities 5k walk/run in May. She will also use her extensive background in volunteerism to audit and recommend enhancements for its volunteer program.

“At Citizens Bank, we believe the strength of our company is tied to the strength of the communities we serve,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “Our sabbatical program truly demonstrates our commitment to being a good corporate citizen, and is of particular value to our local communities. It is a wonderful opportunity that will have a rewarding and meaningful impact on Norma and the participants and staff at Cape Abilities.”

Citizens’ Community Service Sabbatical Program enables a colleague with three or more years of service to work full-time in the community for three months and bring back to the workplace a greater appreciation of the social needs and challenges in the community at-large. More than 90 colleagues have been sent into their communities since the program started in 1994.

“We’re honored that Citizens Bank and Norma Schmidt have chosen Cape Abilities,” said Larry Thayer, Executive Director of Cape Abilities. “We know that with her dedication and strong connections to the community she will help us create new opportunities for people with disabilities across Cape Cod.”

Established in 1968, Cape Abilities empowers individuals with disabilities to achieve meaningful and productive roles in society. It has grown to become a leading provider of support services for people with disabilities across Cape Cod, serving participants from Bourne to Provincetown. Its services have expanded to include job training and placement, housing, transportation, day habilitation and entrepreneurial businesses. Most recently, the organization has launched Cape Abilities Farm, which employs more than 80 people with disabilities, and provides fresh produce for the local community.

Schmidt, a Centerville resident, has a strong passion for community service and volunteers much of her time with the Cape & Islands United Way. For the past four years, Schmidt has served as a panel member on the agency’s Community Investment Committee, a grant review committee comprised of community volunteers that awards program funding to local nonprofits.

She also organizes and coordinates the United Way “Day of Caring” volunteer projects. Schmidt has been with Citizens Bank for 10 years, working from the Hyannis office, and continues to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to customers, colleagues and the local community.

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 257 branches and 793 ATMs in Massachusetts.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $136 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).