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Citizens Financial Group Chairman and CEO Ellen Alemany says leadership fundamental to restoring consumer trust

Alemany spoke to sold-out crowd on why leadership and rebuilding consumer trust are key building blocks to moving economy forward

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Providence, R.I.    (March 11, 2010) - As keynote speaker at Thursday’s 13th annual Women’s Summit® entitled "New Decade. New Directions" at Bryant University, Ellen Alemany, Chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group, Inc. and RBS Americas, addressed a sold-out audience of 1,000 business professionals. Alemany, a 30-year banking industry veteran who has served in a number of leadership roles, discussed the need for businesses to rebuild the trust of consumers in the wake of the economic crisis and why executives must lead by example.

"The focus of this new decade will prove to be about rebuilding trust," Alemany said. "Trust in financial institutions, trust in corporate America and trust in our government. This new decade demands a new style of leadership that will help us to rebuild trust and once again be able to succeed."

Alemany, who became head of Citizens six months before the financial crisis began, said, "Trust comes from transparency, accountability, innovation, from not taking excessive risks, from accuracy, and from being responsive to the communities you serve."

Alemany noted that although we’ve lived through economic turmoil and unprecedented challenges during the past 18 months, "America has always been at its best in times of crisis. Times of crisis test us; they push us to rise to the challenge. Times of crisis are opportunities to make significant and systemic change. Times of crisis make leaders – and leaders are made by the obstacles they overcome."

In the coming months, companies must focus on their core responsibilities by serving customers well, providing the best products and services, and contributing to our communities. Alemany noted, "If we do all three of these things well, then we are a good bank. Good banking is good citizenship. Good citizenship rebuilds trust. Trust rebuilds consumer confidence. And consumer confidence will rebuild the economy."

Alemany said she believes the challenging economy presents opportunities for executives to become better leaders, better serving the needs of customers as well as employees. She said, "We are at a moment in time when a range of constituencies, from consumers and business owners to regulators, are frustrated by the past, but receptive to new approaches and craving decisive action. It would be a shame to miss that opportunity."

In addition to Alemany, keynote speakers were Bobbi Brown, Founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Judge Glenda Hatchett, author of the bestseller, Say What You Mean and Mean What you Say.

For a copy of Ellen Alemany’s keynote address, please contact Michael.D.Jones@citizensbank.com or 617-994-7586.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $148 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches and approximately 22,700 employees. 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. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).