RBS Citizens Financial Group Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Champions in Action Program

Innovative community program has recognized 260 organizations in New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct 25, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — RBS Citizens Financial Group (RBSCFG) today announced the 10th anniversary of Champions in Action(R), its unique program supporting nonprofit organizations that work on issues like homelessness, financial education, job training and the arts. Over the past decade, the award-winning Champions program has provided more than $6.7 million in grants to 260 nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

In each of these states, Citizens Bank and Charter One have recognized organizations with a proven history of successfully meeting the needs of local communities and a clear plan for applying the support and resources that come with the Champions in Action designation to benefit the local community. Organizations also must show a history of strong financial responsibility and leadership.

Started in 2002, the Champions in Action program has been recognized by community leaders, customers and peer banks as innovative, creative and effective. In 2005, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce honored RBSCFG with its Corporate Stewardship Award for its commitment to the community. The chamber noted the Champions in Action program’s innovative approach to building lasting relationships with nonprofit organizations.

“We are pleased to have established Champions in Action as a true benchmark for nonprofit excellence in the local communities we serve,” said Ellen Alemany, Chairman and CEO of RBS Citizens Financial Group. “Every day, our current and past Champions lead the way for their communities, driving innovative solutions to pressing social issues. We are fortunate to have developed deep and lasting partnerships with the best and the brightest local nonprofit organizations and look forward to another decade of recognizing, promoting and supporting these high-performing community organizations through the Champions in Action program.”

As a Champion in Action, nonprofits receive a $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Charitable Foundation, public service announcements and television profiles from local media partners, and public relations and volunteer support from RBSCFG and its media partners. In addition, the organization’s executive director has the opportunity to participate in a “president-to-president” mentorship with the bank’s state president. To be eligible, the nonprofit must be a registered 501(c)3 and have a total operating budget of $5 million or less.

Leaders of Champions organizations have applauded the program for its impact, reporting that it provided critical resources, raised their visibility and helped attract additional support.

In New Hampshire, Families in Transition – New Horizons (FIT) has reported significant growth since being named one of the program’s first Champions in Action. It went from providing housing for 57 homeless families to now assisting 170 families and 180 children each night. It receives nearly 4,000 referrals each year from individuals and families in need of housing services. In addition, the organization has grown its staff from 13 to more than 50 and increased its revenue by 412 percent.

“We were launching the OutFITters Thrift Store at the time when we were named a Champion in Action and the recognition from the award helped generate donations of clothing, furniture and other items as well as attract shoppers, whose purchases funded the programs and services we offer our clients,” said Maureen Beauregard, President, Families in Transition – New Horizons. “Today we operate two thrift stores and generate $500,000 in sales annually. We have grown tremendously since being named a Champion in Action and are honored to have been the first organization recognized. We commend RBSCFG for continuing to support deserving organizations through the Champions in Action program.”

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, RBSCFG’s Citizens Bank and Charter One brands have been hosting events throughout the year with past Champions throughout the footprint. For more information about the Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com/community .

About RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $129 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has more than 1,400 branches, approximately 3,700 ATMs and approximately 18,940 colleagues. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.

SOURCE: RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

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