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Citizens Access surpasses deposit goal by $1B, 6 months after launch

Citizens Financial Group Inc.s new high-rate online account raised about $3 billion in deposits in 2018, according to executives during the bank's fourth-quarter 2018 earnings call on Jan. 18.

The product, called Citizens Access, launched nationally in July 2018 with a goal of raising $2 billion in 2018. It had attracted $1 billion by the end of the 2018 third quarter.

The accounts notched more than 30,000 sign-ups, with 96% being new to the bank. CFO John Woods said the average account balance is now $72,000, up from $70,000 at the end of the 2018 third quarter. He added that the accounts are "a relatively modest" aspect of the bank's overall deposit strategy but have helped diversify and optimize funding levels and costs.

Citizens Access offers of one of the highest interest rates in the country in a bid to capture deposits becoming increasingly competitive as interest rates rise. The account competes with several high-interest accounts from other banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Total period-end deposits at Citizens Financial grew 2% from the third quarter of 2018. Total deposit costs were up 9 basis points to 82 basis points.