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Citizens Bank introduces streamlined payment system for transactions executed in Chinese Renminbi (RMB) currency

New offering mitigates currency risk, improves efficiency and reduces costs for Citizens Bank business customers

Providence, R.I. (May 19, 2011) -  Citizens Bank today introduced a streamlined payment capability that allows its commercial customers to settle third-party and trade-related payments in Renminbi (RMB), the local Chinese currency. By making onshore payments in RMB, Citizens Bank is helping its customers mitigate currency risk, improve efficiency and reduce transaction costs.

Citizens is one of the first regional banks in the United States to be granted approval by the People’s Bank of China to maintain an account in RMB, which is China’s “People’s Currency.”

“Our commercial customers are taking advantage of the rapid growth and expansion opportunities in China and already wire close to $1 billion annually to counterparties there. This is a 70 percent increase over the past five years and underscores how important China capabilities are to our commercial clients,” said Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank Rhode Island & Connecticut. “This offering gives companies banking with Citizens Bank advantages as we negotiate terms on purchases of Chinese goods and services.”

This new capability offers a number of benefits to Citizens Bank customers:
• The ability to source the currency from RBS Asia allows Citizens to offer competitive exchange rates.
• Faster speed-of-settlement improves the clearing process for local payments in China.
• U.S. companies with payroll exposure in China are able to fund in RMB.
• China-based vendors may give more favorable shipping terms when paid in RMB.

“We leveraged the global currency-trading capabilities of our parent company, RBS, to develop this new service,” said Prabhat Vira, Head of CFG’s Global Transaction Services Americas. “Similar to other products we have designed to help make financial transactions more efficient, this new capability allows our customers to tie in to our strength as a global bank. In this case, we have seamlessly integrated with operations in RBS Asia to support their continued growth in this increasingly important part of the global economy.”

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 82 branches and 198 ATMs in Rhode Island.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $132 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 more than 30 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).