Citizens Bank, once wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, is planning to trim down its branches while expanding its banking product range as it moves towards autonomy after spinning off from its corporate parent.
Citizens Financial Group CEO Bruce Van Saun in an interview to Tribune-Review said: "We’ve done some pruning and some consolidation where that makes sense. But what we have and most banks have is we have too much space."
According to Van Saun, around 75 branches will be converted to the physically smaller model over the next 18 months.
However, the retail branch slimming will be slower, as 80% of Citizens branches are leased, and will happen as leases expire over the next decade.
In its urge to catch up to competitors following its separation from RBS, the Rhode Island-based bank will offer new mobile and online banking services, loan and checking products, and will reorganize branches staffing them with licensed bankers and financial consultants.
The bank will increase its number of licensed bankers from 360 to 600 in the next couple of years besides adding dozens of financial consultants to handle advanced investment products for wealthier customers.