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Citizens Financial Group Inc. on Wednesday said it agreed to buy Investors Bancorp Inc. in a $3.5 billion cash-and-stock deal that will expand Citizens’ presence in several lucrative East Coast markets.

The deal, the latest in a series of regional bank tie-ups, comes two months after Citizens agreed to buy 80 East Coast branches and the online deposit business of HSBC Holdings PLC as part of the London-based bank’s pullback from the U.S. market.

The Investors deal will give Citizens about $215 billion in assets and help fill in the gap between its Northeast branches and the mid-Atlantic branches acquired from HSBC. The new branch footprint of Providence, R.I.-based Citizens will stretch from Vermont to Washington, D.C.

Citizens is adding more than 150 branches in the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas and across New Jersey. In its deal for HSBC, Citizens picked up branches in New York, Washington, D.C., and southeast Florida.

“Once we acquired HSBC, it intensified our efforts to get something done with Investors, which is complimentary and gives us a great foundation to attack the [Greater New York City] market,” Citizens Chief Executive Bruce Van Saun said in an interview.

Source: WSJ

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