Collaboration with Fundation will expedite and expand small business loan approvals

PROVIDENCE, RI – Citizens Bank today announced that it will offer digital lending capabilities to small business customers through a collaboration with Fundation Group LLC, a leading digitally-enabled lender and credit solutions provider to regional and community banks. This continues Citizens’ strategy of leveraging innovative digital technologies that create better end-to-end customer experiences. The service is expected to be available in mid-2017.

The added capability will enable small businesses to apply for loans and lines of credit through a simple online application at In most cases approval is provided within minutes, and loans are funded in as little as three business days. Additionally, Fundation will offer credit to some customers that do not meet Citizens’ credit guidelines, helping the bank to serve more of its small business customers’ credit needs.

“We know that time is valuable for our business banking customers. This simple digital application process will be quicker and more efficient for customers making smaller requests for credit, enabling them to get back to running their businesses sooner,” said Chris Ward, head of business banking for Citizens Bank. “We believe that our new, automated lending platform will complement the tailored, advice-based services available through relationship managers and bankers to our customers who need larger loans or have more complex needs such as cash management.”

Sam Graziano, CEO of Fundation, added, “At Fundation, our mission is to enable our strategic partners to serve their small business customers more efficiently and more broadly. This collaboration does exactly that. The combination of Citizens Bank’s powerful customer-facing brand and our digital lending platform will allow us to collectively serve more customers with best-in-class products and a best-in-class customer experience.”

Citizens Bank recently announced a partnership with digital wealth management service SigFig, to offer customers integrated banking and digital investment services starting in early 2017.

Fundation recently announced strategic partnerships with Regions Bank, the BancAlliance community bank network, and the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. Fundation also recently secured a $100 million credit facility from Goldman Sachs, which bolsters its capacity to extend credit to small businesses across the United States through its banking and other strategic partnerships.

The digital lending service is subject to the negotiation of a definitive agreement between Citizens Bank and Fundation.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $147.0 billion in assets as of September 30, 2016. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides wealth management, mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in select markets nationwide. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance. Citizens operates through its subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania as Citizens Bank, Citizens Commercial Banking and Citizens One. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at

About Fundation
Fundation Group LLC is a digitally-enabled lender and credit solutions provider. The Company develops integrated small business lending solutions with banks, enabling them to deliver credit online, drive cost efficiency into their lending programs and maximize customer retention by providing a positive customer experience and meeting the needs of the small businesses they serve. The Company also partners with a wide array of organizations that serve the small business market in various capacities to deliver credit products to the business community nationwide. For more information, please visit