Citizens Financial Group recognized
for mortgage company acquisition

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island-based Citizens Financial Group Inc. ranked No. 1 for the “best strategic nonbank acquisition,” according to Bank Director’s 2020 RankingBanking study.

Citizens’ acquisition of Franklin American Mortgage Co., a Tennessee-based mortgage servicing firm, tripled the bank’s off-balance sheet mortgage servicing portfolio and doubled its origination platform, according to the report.

The deal, which was signed in August of 2018, also diversified the bank’s mortgage business by adding correspondent and wholesale banking channels. The acquisition has resulted in 27.9% growth of Citizens’ mortgage portfolio.

Bank Director’s report reviewed post-acquisition performance of more than 40 acquirers in order to rank the best transactions of mergers and acquisitions, including by asset size and market reaction, according to a news release. The study also included bank transactions, business line purchases and serial acquirers’ financial performances.

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Deals were evaluated across nine categories: best large bank deal (over $15 billion); best mid-sized bank deal ($1 billion to $15 billion); best community bank deal (under $1 billion); best merger of equals; best deal by market reaction; best branch network acquisition; best technology acquisition; best strategic nonbank acquisition; and best M&A strategy.

The study focuses on deals completed between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jun. 30, 2018, with the exception of nonbank and technology acquisitions, in which the evaluation period was extended through the end of 2018, and the M&A strategy category, in which the study looked back to the beginning of 2016, according to the release.

No other banks in Rhode Island or Bristol County, Mass., were included in the rankings.

Nancy Lavin is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at