Citizens Financial Group Inc., a $14 billion bank in Providence, R.I., has hired Alltel Information Services Inc. to manage software applications and distributed computing services.

A bank Citizens bought in November, $3.4 billion-asset First NH Bank in Manchester, N.H., has been a customer of Little Rock-based Alltel for five years.

"This is a real coup for us," said an Alltel spokeswoman.

Citizens will use Alltel's client/server software applications. Alltel will provide daily maintenance for the software and enhancements to its own mainframe application system and those of other vendors.

Alltel also will help manage the movement of information and data from the bank's mainframe to personal computers spread throughout Citizen's 220 branch network in New England. This part of the contract is designed to help Citizens move products to market faster and enhance the productivity of branch employees, according to a statement from Alltel.

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