Continuing with an acquisition strategy designed to make it a top contender in New England, Citizens Financial Group announced an agreement Monday to buy UST Corp. of Boston for $1.4 billion.

This cash deal, combined with Citizens' recent pact to purchase $2.2 billion of commercial loans and $1.6 billion of deposits from Boston-based State Street Corp., would give Citizens $28 billion of assets, $19.5 billion of deposits, and 370 branches in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

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