US-based Citizens Financial Group has launched its own direct-to-consumer digital bank called Citizens Access to cater to the requirements of digitally-savvy customers.

The launch of Citizens Access, which will be available across the US, is part of Citizens Financial Group’s strategy to expand its reach beyond the 11 states it’s in currently.

The digital bank will offer customers with FDIC-insured online savings, CD accounts, and a PFM tool free of charge.

Commenting on the launch, Citizens Access president John Rosenfeld said: “Over the last several years, direct bank deposits have grown six times faster than deposits at traditional banks as consumers have sought innovative new ways to save money.

“To address these evolving customer needs, we designed Citizens Access to provide an exceptional digital experience where every task is intuitive and easily accomplished, even on a mobile phone.”

The banking group claims that users can open and fund a new account at in less than five minutes using a smartphone or a PC.

Citizens Financial noted that the challenger bank will operate as a standalone entity from its current retail offerings.

Citizens Financial provides various types of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. As of 31 March 2018, Citizens had $153.5bn in assets.