Citizens Private Bank launches, will open new branch in Palm Beach

Citizens Private Bank will be on the third floor at 400 Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach.
Citizens Private Bank will be on the third floor at 400 Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach.

A new private bank is expanding into Palm Beach, with a presence on the island's fabled Bankers Row.

Citizens Private Bank — an offshoot of Citizens Financial Group — launched in October with six private banking offices that will open within the next year in Palm Beach, New York City and Boston, along with three locations in the San Francisco area.

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The growth comes as Citizens moves into spaces previously dominated by First Republic Bank's private banking arm, which collapsed and was sold at auction by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. this year, a victim of the wider effects of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

According to its website, three First Republic branches remain open in Palm Beach County, including the location at 241 Royal Palm Way. Branches are also in Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter.

While JPMorgan Chase acquired First Republic’s assets at the FDIC auction, Citizens recruited many of First Republic's key team members — in particular, from First Republic's private banking team.

“Citizens had been studying the client service model for First Republic and had a lot of admiration for it,” said Susan deTray, the leader of Citizens Private Bank and herself a First Republic veteran.

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The acquisition of many of the teams that ran First Republic was a coup that will allow Citizens Private Bank to continue First Republic’s legacy of “extraordinary service, under a new banner and with greater capabilities,” deTray said.

Citizens is renovating the space that previously belonged to First Republic in the building at 400 Royal Palm Way, on the third floor. First Republic had submitted plans to the town last year to renovate and reconfigure the space.

Until that 7,000-square-foot office is ready in the first quarter of next year, the team at Citizens Private Bank is in temporary offices at 420 Royal Palm Way, deTray said.

“We can look out the window and see where we’re going to be,” she said. The Citizens Private Bank team is in “a snug spot,” she noted, saying the additional space will be welcome.

It also will allow for more people to join the team. Right now, there are mostly relationship managers in the office. Once the larger space is ready, investment managers will be able to join, deTray said.

Citizens Private Bank’s six offices are another legacy of First Republic — the primary markets that bank had served, deTray said. The high net worth clients who seek private banking services typically travel between at least two of those locations, she said. “It was just very fitting,” deTray said.

“There’s a hole in the regional banking market specific to a certain type of client-service model, with First Republic no longer being there,” she said, noting the near-simultaneous collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Citizens Private Bank will offer a concierge level of service, with a single point of contact for clients, deTray said.

“It’s a good fit for those who appreciate the client-service model that we offered in the past and that we intend to offer going forward,” she said.

Those who had been with First Republic have been excited to see members of that team who are now with Citizens Private Bank, she said.

“There’s a great deal of loyalty,” deTray said, noting that these are clients who are used to having one banking service provider for themselves, their families and their businesses. “That level of connectivity is difficult to replicate.”

Once the new office space is completed, the experience for Citizens Private Bank customers will be “extremely similar” to First Republic, deTray said. The entire space is being updated, with the color palette refreshed to be in line with the new brand, she said.

“We understand that the safety and soundness that’s provided by Citizens as a bank, combined with the extraordinary client service model that is being offered that is the legacy of First Republic, is going to be extremely strong, and we’re very excited about it,” deTray said.

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This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Daily News: Citizens Private Bank launches, will open new branch in Palm Beach