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The Boston Globe

Business

Pressure builds on parent of Citizens Bank

Citizens is a bright spot for embattled Royal Bank of Scotland, but pressure from the British government could force the lender to sell its subsidiary

For years Citizens Bank downplayed its British pedigree, focusing on its roots as a scrappy Rhode Island institution that grew into the 12th-largest retail bank in the United States.

Citizens branded itself a local bank, keeping its color shamrock green rather than adopting the royal blue of its parent, Royal Bank of Scotland. When Bank of America charged into the Boston market a decade ago, Citizens’ top managers gave their cellphone numbers to clients to emphasize the personal touch of a hometown bank. Executives boasted that decisions were made in Providence and Boston, not in the United Kingdom.

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