Connecticut-based bank buys 56 branches, 29 in NYC-area

By David Jones | February 28, 2012 10:57PM

People’s United Financial, the parent firm of People’s United Bank, said it agreed to buy 56 branches from Citizens Financial Group for $3.25 million in cash, including 29 branches in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County.

Bridgeport, Conn.-based People’s United, which operates 87 branches inside Stop & Shop supermarkets, said that 52 of the 56 Citizens Financial branches are also located inside Stop & Shop groceries, while the other four locations are traditional retail bank locations.

Citizens Financial, based in Providence, R.I., is a $132 billion holding company, with 1,500 branches in 12 states. The company also has retail and commercial offices in 40 states. In 1988, the bank became a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, based in Edinburgh.

RBS has been shedding jobs and other expenses as it reported a full-year loss of $3 billion in 2011, citing a 54 percent drop in earnings from its investment-banking business and exposure to Eurozone debt.

People’s United said it will offer jobs to all existing Citizen’s Financial employees and will assume $325 million in deposits currently held at the acquired branches.

Jack Barnes, president and CEO of People’s United said the deal represents a “unique opportunity to be the exclusive provider of banking services at 139 Stop & Shop stores” in Long Island, southern New York state and Connecticut. Officials estimate that about 2.7 million shoppers visit Stop & Shop stores in those locations.

The bank operates supermarket branches in Maspeth and Forest Hills, Queens, the Rockaways, as well as Staten Island.

People’s United currently has 37 traditional branch locations in Long Island and Westchester County, and expects an increase in both traditional and in-store traffic in these existing sites. In April 2011, People’s United opened its sixth Westchester County bank branch, at 111 Kraft Avenue in Bronxville.