Citizens Financial launches digital bank
Rhode Island-based Citizens Financial has unleashed Citizens Access, a nationwide digital bank.
The new bank is clear about its market and targets.
“Over the last several years, direct bank deposits have grown six times faster than deposits at traditional banks as consumers have sought innovative new ways to save money,” says John Rosenfeld, president of Citizens Access.
He adds: “After ten years of declining popularity with consumers, recent trends have shown that certificate of deposit (CD) growth have begun to outpace savings and money market account (MMA) growth. Citizens Access is initially offering differentiated CD offerings and we want to help consumers understand how to best utilise these products in their savings plans.”
This digital ambition is no surprise. As reported in January, Citizens Financial was reducing the overall square footage of each branch.
“There’s a little bit of pruning of the number of locations, but the greater element of that programme is trying to take 4,200-square-foot branches and turn them into 2,500 or 2,200 square foot branches,” said Bruce Van Saun, chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial. “I’d say, by 2021, I think we’ll have gone through 50% of the branches as the target.”
At that time, the bank intended to use the freed-up money for digital tech investment.
Now, Citizens Access explains that customers will be able to open and fund a new account in five steps that take “fewer than five minutes to complete”.
Away from digital matters, Citizens Financial has $153.5 billion in assets as of 31 March 2018. Headquartered in Providence, it offers a range of retail and commercial banking products and services
It has around 3,300 ATMs and approximately 1,150 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions.