Citizens Financial grows its way through the pandemic
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Citizens Financial grows its way through the pandemic

A strong year means chief executive Bruce Van Saun is in the enviable position of having options.

Citizens Bank Chairman & CEO Bruce Van Saun Visits "Mornings With Maria"
Source: Getty Images

Bruce Van Saun shouldn’t be downbeat. Having run Citizens Financial since late 2013, he has now presided over six years of gathering strength since the bank was cut loose from its troubled former owner Royal Bank of Scotland through an IPO in 2014.

It also appears to have passed its biggest test yet: the pandemic year of 2020. Van Saun can look back with some relief at having navigated it with much of his strategy intact and new opportunities emerging.


Not only that, but revenues rose 7% in the first nine months of the year, and pre-provision profits were up 11%. Much is going in the right direction.

But speaking to Van Saun at the end of an exhausting and traumatic period, Euromoney still senses some frustration at what could have been.

As at so many firms, for Citizens it has been a year of plans thwarted by a bewildering environment from which the exit can still only be dimly glimpsed.

How different things had felt in January.

“We were very bullish on the outlook for 2020,” says Van Saun now. “We had a number of initiatives we were investing in on the consumer side and a slightly adjusted approach on the commercial side that we had a lot of hope for.”


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