Providence, R.I. - Citizens Financial Group, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland, purchased New England Savings Bank after it was closed by regulators on Friday.

New England Savings, a Connecticut thrift, had $914.8 million in assets and 21 offices.

Citizens, in turn, sold $171 million of commercial real estate loans - two-thirds of them nonperforming - to Lehman Brothers. The Rhode Island-based bank said it ended up purchasing $740 million of assets from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. at a discount of $48.9 million, and assumed liabilities of $691 million.

Lawrence Fish, Citizens' chief executive, said the deal was the "first-ever whole bank resolution," as all assets of the failed bank were purchased without governmment assistance.

Citizens, which has 60 branches in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, previously announced plans to buy the $1.7 billion-asset Boston Five Cents Savings Bank.

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