Citizens Bank today announced a $5 million commitment to support communities and businesses dealing with impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. These resources will back both a number of broad-based community support initiatives across the Citizens service area as well as specialized programs focused on providing aid to small businesses and their workforces.
“Responding to the needs of the communities we serve is at the heart of the Citizens Credo and we stand ready to help our neighbors during this unprecedented time,” said Bruce Van Saun, chairman and chief executive officer, Citizens Financial Group. “Through this initiative we will focus on addressing immediate community needs, while providing aid to small businesses so they can get back on their feet more quickly.”
The bank’s COVID-19 support effort will have two components:
- A Community Support Relief program that will provide charitable contributions to community partners to assist with wider relief efforts. One example of this is charitable contributions to be committed to broad-based relief funds in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, with others to be determined. Longer term, the company plans to work with community partners to identify solutions to address changing needs.
- A Small Business Relief and Recovery program that will provide charitable contributions and other assistance aimed at helping small businesses restore full operations, rehire and recover in the months to come.
In addition to the resources for small business relief announced today, Citizens will implement several initiatives that will enable customers and colleagues to lend their support. These include enabling users of the bank’s cash-back credit cards to designate all or part of their cash rewards to the relief and recovery fund. Further, Citizens will create a mechanism through which customers, colleagues and others can donate to support the effort.
In addition to providing new funding, Citizens removed programmatic restrictions on 2020 funding to non-profit partners to allow support to be diverted to the areas of greatest need.
Van Saun added: “While the short term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will present unique challenges for all of us, it is important that banks step up and play a critical role in helping provide economic stability to our communities. Citizens looks forward to continuing to support our community partners and customers throughout this difficult time.”
Citizens continues to provide advice and relief to customers impacted by the crisis. Depending on how a customer has been impacted, the bank is prepared to explore how it can help customers from hardship in areas such as payment terms, late fees, service charge rebates and no-penalty access to CDs. Please visit CitizensBank.com or call the bank’s contact center at 800-922-9999 to learn more.
For small business customers in need, the bank is helping provide relief in areas such as payment terms, late fees, and SBA disaster assistance for business owners in a number of states. Small business customers can visit CitizensBank.com or call 877-363-2472 for assistance. In addition to these measures, the bank is working closely with state and federal agencies to ensure that new programs and resources are made available quickly and efficiently.