Citizens Financial To Launch Online Consumer Bank

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Citizens Financial Group announced on Monday (May 14) plans to launch Citizens Access, a nationwide direct-to-consumer online bank.

In a press release, Citizens Financial said the digital platform will offer FDIC-insured deposits products aimed at serving people who want to save and want the flexibility of an online banking service. The company said it will provide digital deposit services at attractive rates and lower costs to help consumers save more for the future. The platform will be launched in the third quarter and will be available throughout the U.S.

“The planned launch of Citizens Access represents a step forward for Citizens as we seek to expand our distribution to meet consumer needs,” said CFO John Woods in the press release announcing the online bank. “Sourcing deposits nationwide is a perfect complement to our attractive retail lending initiatives, such as education refinance, merchant finance and home equity. We expect Citizens Access to further diversify our funding sources by targeting savers who often choose to add digital-only offerings to their existing retail banking relationship and are actively seeking online alternative savings solutions.”

In the same press release, Brad Conner, Citizens’ vice chairman and head of consumer banking, said that during the past few years, Citizens has been investing in data and analytics to better understand and react to customer needs. He noted that over time, the online bank will position the company to further innovate, acquire new customers and expand its offering of digital capabilities.

“We believe that Citizens Access will provide digitally savvy savers with a winning combination of simplicity, security and attractive rates,” Conner said.

Late last year, Citizens Financial announced another digital initiative to enhance its small and medium-sized business (SMB) lending offering by digitizing the loan application process. At the time, the bank said that the new platform – built in collaboration with alternative online lender Fundation – will allow SMB bank customers to apply for a loan or line of credit and receive an approval online. Citizens said that in “most cases,” applicants are informed of a decision the same business day and receive funds within three business days.

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