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Citizens Survey Finds Business Owners More Optimistic

March 24 – Optimism is on the rise among owners of mid-sized U.S. companies, according to a new Citizens Commercial Banking survey examining the impact of the presidential election on the appetite for mergers and acquisitions.

More than half (52 percent) of owners now believe that economic conditions will improve in the coming year compared with only 34 percent prior to the U.S. election. The follow-up survey of business leaders, conducted last month, also found that 38 percent of respondents thought the election would boost what the previous Citizens Commercial Banking Middle Market M&A Outlook revealed were high expectations for M&A activity in 2017.

“The election results added more fuel to a positive outlook for mergers and acquisitions among middle market U.S. companies this year,” said Bob Rubino, executive vice president and head of Corporate Finance and Capital Markets at Citizens Commercial Banking. “Some CEOs are still in wait-and-see mode, but they are optimistic about possible changes that could improve their bottom lines and generate more deal-making opportunities.”

Middle market companies – with annual revenue between $5 million and $2 billion – are key creators of jobs and drivers of economic activity in the United States. Citizens Commercial Banking serves thousands of middle market clients in a wide range of industries across the country.

Citizens Commercial Banking’s survey provides insight into the behaviors, attitudes and perceptions of business owners and CEOs as they consider their corporate development strategies for the year ahead. Other key findings include:

  • Among middle market business owners, 71 percent anticipated lower health-care costs to their business in coming years and 68 percent expected fewer federal regulations.
  • Seventy percent said they expected lower corporate tax rates while 54 percent anticipated lower individual tax rates and 39 percent expected capital gains tax rates to go down.
  • Twenty-two percent of business owners are even more likely to engage in M&A activity in 2017 following the election.
  • The percentage of survey respondents who expect a significant financial crisis in the next three years dropped from 48 percent to 41 percent.

A leader in middle market banking with expanding M&A advisory capabilities, Citizens consistently ranks as a Top 10 middle market loan arranger in league tables. Citizens recently served as advisor on Safe Harbor Marinas’ acquisition of Brewer Yacht Yard Group and recently published its sixth annual nationwide Middle Market M&A Outlook.

Citizens Commercial Banking recently became the first U.S. bank to partner with Opportunity Network to offer Citizens’ clients access to an innovative business-to-business networking platform designed to promote growth by connecting business owners to a network of 13,500 CEOs and $35 billion of deal flow.

Citizens aims to be a go-to strategic and financial partner by offering unrivaled industry expertise, great ideas and seamless deal execution. The Citizens Commercial Banking approach puts clients first, and offers solutions that help clients make the best decisions throughout the life cycle of their business.

For more information, please visit the Citizens Commercial Banking website.

Survey Methodology

Last month, Citizens Commercial Banking conducted a follow-up survey of 200 U.S.-based middle market business decision-makers who are open to or currently engaged in some form of corporate development activity, including mergers, acquisitions and raising capital. For the purposes of this survey, middle market businesses are defined as private or public companies with annual revenue between $5 million and $2 billion.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $149.5 billion in assets as of December 31, 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 www.citizensbank.com.

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