NEW YORK - Continuing the consolidation of New England banks, Citizens Financial Group said on Monday that it will pay $144 million in cash to acquire Boston-based Neworld Bancorp.

Rhode Island-based Citizens, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, will pay 1.6 times book value for Neworld, a $1.1 billion-asset thrift company with 14 branches in Boston and eight on Cape Cod.

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