PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Citizens Financial Group Inc. said yesterday it was laying off 900 employees.

Mike Jones, a spokesman for the Rhode Island financial services company, said the employees received layoff notices yesterday.

The company's parent, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, employed 2,300 people in the Philadelphia area as of June.

Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, which is owned by Citizens Financial, had 187 bank branches in the eight-county Philadelphia area as of June 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It had a 12.5 percent of the area market, with $14.8 billion in deposits.

In 2001, Citizens paid $2 billion for 350 Mellon Bank and Mellon PSFS branches across Pennsylvania. It teamed with the Phillies in 2003 in a naming-rights and advertising package worth $95 million.

Employees in 13 states, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts, are affected.

Citizens Financial Group has about 24,500 workers. Its subsidiaries are Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, N.A.

Jones said he could not comment about any future potential job cuts.

The layoff announcement came the same day that Sovereign Bancorp Inc. of Philadelphia said it was cutting 1,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its staff, to reduce costs.

The job cuts come amid hundreds of thousands of job losses in the financial services industry.