Boston, Wednesday -- Citizens Financial Group, sometimes called ''the

fastest growing bank in America'', has reached critical mass and is

positioned to compete when interstate banking barriers fall, chairman

Lawrence Fish said.

Citizens, owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, has seen its assets

grow to slightly more than $10 billion from just $4000m two years ago

following many acquisitions, Mr Fish told businessmen at the Boston

Chamber of Commerce.

''I think we're pretty happy with our size here,'' he added.

Citizens' desire to remain a community bank limits further growth, Mr

Fish said. ''We have a saying in the bank; If you can't drive to it,

don't lend to it,'' he said.

Based in Providence, Rhode Island, and in Boston, Citizens has about

140 branches and is among the top five largest banks in New England.