Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CFG or the “Company”) today announced that its board of directors has authorized the Company to repurchase up to $1.275 billion of the Company’s common stock over the four-quarter period beginning July 1, 2019, which represents a 25% increase over last year’s authorization.
“We are pleased to report that our board has approved a new share repurchase authorization which represents a sizeable increase over our 2018 plan,” said Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, we continue to target a medium-term dividend payout ratio in the thirty-five to forty percent range. The authorization and our targeted capital return plans reflect our robust capital levels relative to peers, the strength of our franchise, and confidence in our ability to deliver improving financial performance and attractive returns to shareholders, while continuing to invest across our businesses.”
CFG also noted that its 2019 Bank Holding Company-run credit loss rate of 4.1% on its loan portfolio improved by 50 basis points relative to 2018. These internal results, which utilized the 2019 DFAST(1) Severely Adverse Scenario published by the Federal Reserve, reflect continued strong risk discipline, improvement in the underlying credit quality of the loan portfolio and the impact of a more favorable scenario.
The Company has completed its previously announced 2018 Capital Plan authorization to repurchase up to $1.02 billion of common shares through second quarter 2019. CFG’S common share repurchases may be executed in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, including under Rule 10b5-1 plans and accelerated share repurchase and other structured transactions. The timing and exact amount of common share repurchases will be subject to various factors, including the Company’s capital position, financial performance, capital impacts of strategic initiatives, market conditions and regulatory considerations.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $161.3 billion in assets as of March 31, 2019. 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. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,900 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. 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 rate products, and asset finance. More information is available www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements regarding potential future share repurchases and future dividends are forward-looking statements. Also, any statement that does not describe historical or current facts is a forward-looking statement. These statements often include the words “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “plans,” “goals,” “targets,” “initiatives,” “potentially,” “probably,” “projects,” “outlook” or similar expressions or future conditional verbs such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” and “could.”
Forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of management, and on information currently available to management. Our statements speak as of the date hereof, and we do not assume any obligation to update these statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those contained in such statements in light of new information or future events. We caution you, therefore, against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. They are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance. While there is no assurance that any list of risks and uncertainties or risk factors is complete, important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include the following, without limitation:
- Negative economic and political conditions that adversely affect the general economy, housing prices, the job market, consumer confidence and spending habits which may affect, among other things, the level of nonperforming assets, charge-offs and provision expense;
- The rate of growth in the economy and employment levels, as well as general business and economic conditions, and changes in the competitive environment;
- Our ability to implement our business strategy, including the cost savings and efficiency components, and achieve our financial performance goals;
- Our ability to meet heightened supervisory requirements and expectations;
- Liabilities and business restrictions resulting from litigation and regulatory investigations;
- Our capital and liquidity requirements (including under regulatory capital standards, such as the U.S. Basel III capital rules) and our ability to generate capital internally or raise capital on favorable terms;
- The effect of changes in interest rates on our net interest income, net interest margin and our mortgage originations, mortgage servicing rights and mortgages held for sale;
- Changes in interest rates and market liquidity, as well as the magnitude of such changes, which may reduce interest margins, impact funding sources and affect the ability to originate and distribute financial products in the primary and secondary markets;
- The effect of changes in the level of checking or savings account deposits on our funding costs and net interest margin;
- Financial services reform and other current, pending or future legislation or regulation that could have a negative effect on our revenue and businesses, including the Dodd-Frank Act and other legislation and regulation relating to bank products and services;
- A failure in or breach of our operational or security systems or infrastructure, or those of our third party vendors or other service providers, including as a result of cyber-attacks; and
- Management’s ability to identify and manage these and other risks.
In addition to the above factors, we also caution that the amount and timing of any future common stock dividends or share repurchases will depend on our financial condition, earnings, cash needs, regulatory constraints, capital requirements (including requirements of our subsidiaries), and any other factors that our Board of Directors deems relevant in making such a determination. Therefore, there can be no assurance that we will repurchase shares or pay any dividends to holders of our common stock, or as to the amount of any such repurchases or dividends.
More information about factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.
(1)Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test
Investors: Ellen A. Taylor - 203.900.6854