Charter One in Michigan to Change Name to Citizens Bank


SOUTHFIELD — Citizens Financial Group Inc.’s Charter One branches in Michigan will be rebranded as Citizens Bank next year as part of a broader strategy to unify all of its brands, the company announced today.

This change, also scheduled for Citizens’ Charter One branches in Ohio, will result in a uniform Citizens Bank presence across the company’s 11-state retail footprint by mid-2015. Citizens already uses the Citizens Bank brand in the other nine states where it has branches.

“The name Citizens has been a part of our heritage and culture as a company since 1871. We want to leverage this strong brand to provide a consistent, high-quality banking experience to all of our customers, wherever we do business,” said Bruce Van Saun, Citizens Financial Group chairman and CEO.

Today’s announcement follows the company’s recent hiring of veteran Michigan commercial banker Richard C. Hampson as its Michigan state president. Hampson is joining the company from PNC Bank, where he managed a commercial banking portfolio of large corporate clients across Michigan, Northwest Ohio and Canada.

Van Saun unveiled the company’s new brand strategy in Dearborn today in a rally with colleagues. He was joined by other Citizens executives including Hampson and Karen Minghine, the bank’s retail director for Michigan.

“Our colleagues are energized by this and other recent investments in the growth of our business in Michigan,” said Minghine. “Research that we conducted earlier this year showed that the Citizens name already resonates very well with Michigan consumers. We’re looking forward to having one consistent Citizens platform for all of our offerings.”

Citizens started notifying customers of the 2015 branding change this week in a letter from Van Saun in which he noted that “while the name will change, everything else will remain the same. All of the products and services you currently enjoy will remain in place.”

Business lines beyond retail banking also will receive new brands anchored in the Citizens name in the coming months. The Commercial Banking division is slated to transition from RBS Citizens to Citizens Commercial Banking in the fourth quarter of this year. Select consumer lending businesses serving customers outside the Citizens retail footprint will be branded Citizens One.