Charter One is now Citizens Bank. The name change, first announced last year, is part of parent company Citizens Financial Group’s broader strategy to unify brands across its 11-state footprint. The company until today had operated as Charter One in Michigan and Ohio.
“As we enter a new era for our company in Michigan with the name Citizens Bank, a name that has been central to our heritage since our founding in 1871, we are as committed as ever to providing our customers in Michigan with the best possible banking experience to help them bank better,” said Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Financial Group. “We are excited by the opportunity to continue serving our customers and growing in Michigan as we pursue our goal of becoming a top-performing regional bank.”
“This is a very exciting day for all of our colleagues here in Michigan,” said Rick Hampson, Michigan president of Citizens Bank. “With our new signs now up, we are spending the day thanking our customers for their business and also doing what we can to help local families in need. Our name is changing, but everything else stays the same – our colleagues, our commitment to delivering the same customer experience and the same dedication and support of local communities that have been the hallmarks of our business here since 2004.”
Citizens began notifying customers of the name change last year. New Citizens signs were unveiled at more than 100 branches across southeast Michigan and at the bank’s corporate office today The name change will not affect existing customers, who will retain their account numbers and their Charter One-branded checks, credit cards and debit cards. All online and mobile banking passwords will also remain the same.
“Brand Opening” Festivities
To celebrate the “brand opening” of the Citizens name in the Detroit area, the company is hosting several celebrations across the region today, including:
- Citizens Bank grocery give-away: From 10 a.m. to noon today, Citizens will give away $50 in groceries to the first 1,000 shoppers at the Kroger supermarket, 47650 Grand River Road in Novi. Those 18 and older are eligible to participate and will receive a $50 gift card offered on a first come, first served basis. Individuals can start lining up at 9:30 a.m. to receive a $50 gift card. Citizens Bank executives and colleagues will help carry groceries.
- Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan donations: Citizens Bank colleagues will join Gleaners Community Food Bank representatives from 6 to 8 a.m. to stuff 400 backpacks with nutritious food to be given to hungry children. Citizens Bank also is making an $95,000 donation to Gleaners.
- Customer Appreciation Events: All of Citizens Bank’s in-store branches will host customer appreciation events with refreshments and a $100 gift card for one lucky winner per location. All other branches will host customer appreciation activities throughout the day. Branch locations can be found here on the Citizens Bank website.
“Citizens Bank is a new name in our community, but Citizens’ contributions to the vitality and well-being the southeast Michigan community has been apparent for a long time. Today’s celebration is just a small example of the tremendous commitment Citizens has to feeding our hungry neighbors. Gleaners is grateful to have such a good friend and partner in addressing hunger, especially among children, in the five counties we serve,” said Gerry Brisson, president of the Food Bank.
“We welcome the opportunity to help celebrate Charter One’s name change to Citizens Bank,” said Brandon Barrow, consumer affairs manager, Michigan Kroger. “The Great Grocery Giveaway will help many families stretch their food budgets while the contribution to the Gleaners will provide food for thousands in the local community."
New Marketing Campaign
Citizens Bank today also introduced a new marketing campaign called “Ask a Citizen” featuring the personal lives and financial expertise of real Citizens Bank colleagues, including several colleagues in Michigan.
“Consumers today are looking for help planning to pay for college, to pay off their debt, to retire and to meet other financial goals, and they prefer to get this help from someone they know and trust,” said Brad Conner, Vice Chairman and Head of Consumer Banking, who was in the Midwest for today’s festivities. “Our customers come to us every day to tap into our expertise in these areas. We are very proud of the results that our colleagues are delivering for our customers and very excited to feature some of these ‘real-life citizens’ in our new campaign.”
The campaign, which underscores the shared life experiences and the relationships of trust between Citizens bankers and their customers, focuses on some of the core challenges consumers face today – saving for retirement, paying for college, paying down debt and managing a household budget that allows for unexpected expenses. The campaign will be supported by radio, television, digital and outdoor advertising in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts starting this week.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $136.5 billion in assets as of March 31, 2015. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in select markets nationwide. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance. Citizens operates through its subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at www.citizensbank.com.
Lauren DiGeronimo, 781-751-1454