Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to purchase Charter One Financial Inc., Cleveland, a top-30 residential servicer, for $10.5 billion.Charter One is also the nation's 40th-largest residential funder, according to figures compiled by MortgageWire and the Quarterly Data Report. After the deal is completed, RBS, which also owns Citizens Financial Group Inc., Providence, R.I., will rank among the 10 largest commercial banks in the United States. The deal adds $43 billion in assets, 616 retail branches, and 8,400 employees to RBS's growing U.S. banking empire. Together, Charter One and Citizens will boast assets of $128.8 billion and 1,400 branches. The transaction value of approximately $10.5 billion is based on a cash purchase price of $44.50 per share. Charter One's principal subsidiary, Charter One Bank, converted from a thrift charter to a national bank charter in 2002. Charles John Koch, Charter One's chairman and chief executive officer, said Citizens Financial "shares our operating philosophy, strategies, and customer focus. Our geographic footprints fit together perfectly." The companies can be found online at http://www.citizensbank.com and http://www.charterone.com.

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