RBS Citizens Bank is slimming down its franchise and will sell 94 Chicago-area branches for $315 million, the Providence-based financial institution announced on Tuesday.
Citizens, which operates as Charter One Bank in Chicago, plans to sell most of its retail operations there to US Bancorp in a deal expected to close in the middle of this year. Citizens will keep its consumer mortgage lending, auto financing, and commercial lending businesses in Chicago.
The sale, which requires regulatory approval, will allow Citizens focus on “where we have stronger market positions and better long-term growth prospects,” said Bruce Van Saun, the chief executive officer of RBS Citizens Financial Group.
The sale represents about 7 percent of Citizens total branch network and 5.2 percent of its overall deposits. It’s also a reversal of Citizens strategy, which focused over much of the past two decades on acquiring smaller banks and expanding its reach from New England into Pennsylvania and then the Midwest.
Citizens is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, which has been under significant financial and regulatory pressure after it was taken over by the British government in a $70 billion bailout during the 2008 global financial crisis.
Citizens plans to sell a minority share — 25 percent — through an initial public offering in 2014 But this move is a reversal for Citizens, which spent much of the past two decades acquiring smaller banks and expanding its reach from New England into Pennsylvania and then out to the midwest.