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Charter One banks rebranded

Parent firm to switch branches in Ohio to Citizens by mid-’15

Citizens Financial Group Inc., the parent firm of 1,200 Charter One and Citizens Bank branches in 11 states, said Monday that it plans to change its Charter One bank branches in Ohio and Michigan into Citizens Bank branches.

Citizens Financial has been operating branches in the other nine states under the Citizens Bank brand. Converting branches in Ohio and Michigan will give the company a uniform brand in all the states that it operates.

The conversions will begin this week and be completed by mid-2015.

Charter One has more than 25 branches or automated teller machines in the Toledo area.

“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,” Bruce Van Saun, Citizens Financial Group chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We aspire for Citizens to become a top-performing regional bank, and this rebranding effort is part of our strategy to grow our business in the Midwest and beyond.”

In a letter to customers, Mr. Van Saun said the bank pledges 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.”

The financial institution said it also will rebrand its business-oriented services. Its commercial banking division, currently called RBS Citizens, will be renamed Citizens Commercial Banking in the fourth quarter of this year.

Select consumer lending businesses serving customers outside the Citizens 11-state retail footprint will be branded Citizens One.

Company executives said that research conducted earlier this year indicated that the Citizens name already resonated well with Ohio consumers.

The rebranding effort is part of an overall effort to separate Citizens Financial Group from its parent, the Royal Bank of Scotland and establish Citizens as a standalone company.

RBS has announced its intention to divest itself of its ownership of Citizens Financial by the end of 2016 through a series of public offerings.

The company recently updated its corporate name, changing it from RBS Citizens Financial Group to Citizens Financial Group.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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