Citizens Financial Group
announced that its Citizens Bank and Charter One customers have opened
more than 15,000 CollegeSaver accounts since the bank introduced the
innovative new product last April, paving the way for more than $15
million in bonus money plus interest to go toward the college educations
of their loved ones.
CollegeSaver enables customers to earn a $1,000 bonus plus interest for
opening an account by the sixth birthday of their child, grandchild or
loved one and saving a minimum of $25 per month until the child is 18.
Customers receive the $1,000 bonus plus all the accrued interest when
the child turns 18. It is available to new and existing customers, and
insured by the FDIC up to the legal limit.
âPaying college tuition is one of the most challenging goals our
customers face,â said Martin Bischoff, Vice Chairman, Consumer and
Business Banking at CFG. âWe are pleased to provide this innovative
savings plan to give our customers a jump start on saving for this
important goal. CollegeSaver is another example our commitment to listen
to the needs of our customers, and to develop the products and services
they need to meet their goals.â
Citizens created CollegeSaver in response to customer feedback about the
difficulties they face saving and paying for college educations.
CollegeSaver is one of several goal-based savings products Citizens has
developed in the past year in response to and in anticipation of
customersâ savings needs. By working with a customer insight panel to
develop customer solutions such as CollegeSaver, Citizens is able to
understand the needs of customers and thoughtfully develop helpful
Cathy Skiver, an 59-year-old retired school teacher and grandmother of
seven from Wheelersburg, Ohio, has opened CollegeSaver accounts for four
of her six granddaughters, all of whom are under the age of six, and
plans to open another account for her seventh grandchild and first
grandson, born December 2009. She opened certificates of deposit for her
two grandchildren who are over the age of six.
âLike any grandparent, I love my grandchildren and want the best for
them,â said Mrs. Skiver. âCollegeSaver enables me to contribute, in very
real way, to the futures of my grandchildren. But it also enables me to
help my own children, who are faced with paying the rising costs of
college educations for their children.â
According to the nonprofit College Board, the average annual tuition and
fees (excluding room and board) at private four-year colleges and
universities in 2009-10 are $26,273, a 4.4 percent increase from a year
earlier. The average tuition and fees (excluding room and board) at
public four-year colleges and universities in 2009-10 for are $7,020, up
6.5 percent from the year prior.
There is no limit on the amount of money that customers can contribute
monthly to CollegeSaver. Because the interest rates for the product are
tiered, customers can earn more by saving more.
Customers who start saving $100 per month when their child is 6 will
accumulate about $15,800, including the $1,000 bonus and interest earned
when their child turns 18. Customers who start saving $100 per month
when their child is born will have approximately $23,500 â a difference
of about $7,700.
Interest rate and product information can be obtained at
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $148 billion commercial bank holding
company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and, through its
subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches, approximately 3,500 ATMs and
approximately 22,700 employees. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS
Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a
12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut,
Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in
Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial
offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of
Scotland Group plc). CFGâs Web site is citizensbank.com.