With the stroke of a pen last week, Citizens Bank of Massachusetts became the largest state-chartered bank in Massachusetts and the second largest bank in New England.

Closing a deal announced last June, Citizens Financial Group President and CEO Lawrence K. Fish and USTrust Corp. President Neal F. Finnegan inked documents that completed Citizens’ $1.4 billion purchase of Boston-based USTrust. The acquisition makes Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Financial Group a $28 billion bank holding company and increases the size of Citizens Bank of Massachusetts to $14 billion.

The acquisition of UST Corp. seals Citizens Financial Group’s position as a leading commercial bank for New England businesses and an outstanding retail banking franchise, said Fish.

Finnegan, who joins Citizens as non-executive chairman of Citizens Bank of Massachusetts and as a director of Citizens Financial Group, added, I have no doubt that the bank we built and the customers we have been dedicated to serving at USTrust are in the best possible hands.

The merger brings the number of Citizens branches to 279 and the number of ATMs to 564 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

In November, Citizens announced that it would add its 270 Massachusetts ATMs to the surcharge-free SUM ATM network. USTrust’s ATMs were already a part of the network, and Citizens is now SUM’s largest member, with more than 470 machines.

State Treasurer Shannon P. O’Brien, who attended last week’s signing ceremony, had praised Citizens’ decision to enter the network as good news for consumers. O’Brien sits on the state’s Board of Bank Incorporation, which gave final regulatory approval to the deal two weeks ago.

In the deal, Citizens also acquires USTrust’s investment management and insurance brokerage services. Brewer & Lord was USTrust’s full-service insurance company. UST Capital Corp. is a small-business investment company, and United States Trust Co. provides trust services.

Citizens now ranks as the second largest bank in New England. It is a distant second, however, far behind leader Fleet-Boston Financial, which has assets of more than $180 billion.

Citizens Completes Deal To Acquire USTrust Corp.

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min