• New Citi Flu Care card cuts costs.

    By Citi November 16, 2010 05:40 PM

    Citi's Global Transactions Services group has designed a new payment solution to help companies offer this year's flu shot to employees for a much lower price. Called the Citi Flu Care card, it covers the cost of a flu vaccination for the holder at over 17,000 pharmacies and clinics nationwide, where prices are a fraction of those in a doctor's office or at a corporate onsite health care provider. The price works out to about $30 per vaccination in the pharmacy setting, about $50 below the same service delivered in a doctor's office or corporate clinic, according to June 2010 research from a benefits consulting firm.

    The payment solution doesn't require companies to tie up resources by preloading the card with cash. Instead, it charges employers only when the card is swiped. The technology, which has a patent pending, also restricts the card's use to the flu shot.

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  • Stretching your IRA: Don't forget to tell the kids.

    By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management November 15, 2010 03:08 PM

    If you have an individual retirement account and you want to leave it to your spouse, there's no problem. After your death, your spouse can transfer the assets into his or her own IRA, where the money can sit untouched until age 70½, when required minimum distributions begin.

    Non-spouse beneficiaries, such as children and grandchildren, don't have this option: They have to keep the account as a separate inherited IRA and begin taking distributions by Dec. 31 of the year after inheriting. But they can choose to receive the money slowly, using a distribution schedule based on their life expectancy. This is known as the "stretch" IRA--and it may be a smart move, because it can extend the period of potential tax-deferred growth, possibly over several generations.

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  • A new urban landmark in Hong Kong.

    By Citi November 15, 2010 11:12 AM

    Citibank's striking flagship branch in Hong Kong is a new landmark in Mong Kok, the busiest business district of the city. The multi-story bank is wrapped in massive exterior LED video walls that light up in a visual spectacle twice daily. The tech theme continues inside, with the branch showcasing Citi's next-generation retail-branch technologies, including interactive touch screens, video conferencing and free Wi-Fi connections for mobile customers.

    The Mong Kok branch, opened this week by CEO Vikram Pandit, is the newest for Citi in Asia this year. The company now has more than 700 branches across the region, up from 100 a decade ago. The number is expected to grow to about 1,000 branches in the next three to four years.

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  • Analyzing action in Asia's currency markets.

    By Citi November 15, 2010 09:44 AM

    In a guest post on the FT's beyondbrics blog, Patrick Perret-Green, Citi's head of FX and rates strategy for Asia, argues that Asian economies must inevitably accept currency appreciation.

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  • Pandit pens op-ed on Basel III.

    By Citi November 11, 2010 11:55 AM

    Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit discusses the potential implications of new Basel III capital requirements on the banking system, consumers and the economy in an op-ed in the Nov. 10th Financial Times (registration required) .

    Pandit writes, in part: "Striking the right balance between systemic safety and economic vibrancy should be our goal. The pendulum is in danger of swinging too far in one direction. Thankfully, the process is not over. Much remains to be determined, from lending limits to liquidity requirements. We need to take a page from the open and transparent debate that produced Dodd-Frank in the U.S. The issues at stake could hardly be more important -- and are vital matters not just for regulators but even more so for world leaders and finance ministers. Rather than try to outdo the aspects of Basel that are already sound, G-20 leaders have an opportunity to fix what's still broken."

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  • Citi salutes our military veterans.

    By Citi November 10, 2010 05:49 PM

    On November 11th, Citi is celebrating Veterans Day as well as the one month anniversary of its Veterans Initiative, a U.S. based program designed to support military veterans and their families in communities across the country. Over the past year, more than 440 Citi employees in over 12 cities participated in volunteering and fundraising activities to support veterans, including programs designed to provide assistance with resume writing, networking and mentoring for veterans transitioning back into civilian life.

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  • New CitiFX Pro survey results.

    By Citi November 10, 2010 05:39 PM

    The second phase results of the CitiFX Pro Forex Trader Survey 2010 were revealed this week, and showed that more than half of the traders surveyed employ a combination of fundamental and technical strategies when making decisions.

    The first phase of the survey, released in October 2010, studied FX traders' work environments, information sources and their technology preferences, finding most focused entirely on the FX asset class.

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  • Reaching out to the financially underserved.

    By Citi November 09, 2010 12:16 PM

    Citi has joined Bank On Manhattan, a coalition of financial institutions and non-profits that are working together to make it easier for low-income people to open traditional bank accounts. To help achieve that goal, Citi and eight other participating banks are offering basic checking accounts that waive monthly minimum balance requirements, charge low maintenance fees and have features that minimize the potential for overdrafts.

    The Bank on Manhattan initiative, led by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, targets the estimated 95,000 "unbanked" households in the borough that rely on alternative financial service providers, such as check-cashing windows, to manage their money. Research by the Pew Safe Banking Opportunities Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President found that these families spend an average of $530 per year at non-bank institutions to pay bills, cash payroll checks and buy money orders.

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  • Together we are building a stronger Citi for you.

    By Frank Eliason, SVP, Social Media November 08, 2010 11:03 AM

    I just reached the three month mark at Citi and already I have seen a whirlwind of change. Since joining Citi I have seen new leaders sign up to run our cards and consumer banking business, as well as a change to a single Chief Marketing Officer across our global organization. Since I am new to the Citi landscape, many of you may not know my passion. I have worked in a variety of Customer Service roles within financial firms, with a brief stint in the cable television business. What excites me right now is an overall shift I am seeing in the Customer Service field. Companies are placing a much larger emphasis on the overall Customer experience. This is a top priority at Citi for everyone within the company, and a key driver for me in joining this Citi.

    Late in October, TheStreet.com provided insight into our efforts to improve the Customer experience, reporting positive momentum--including an uptick in Citi's "Net Promoter Score."

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  • Looking at M&A deal volume.

    By Citi November 08, 2010 09:37 AM

    Citigroup's global head of M&A Mark Shafir recently spoke to CNBC's The Strategy Session about why companies are cautious around dealmaking despite holding record levels of cash and operating in a low interest-rate environment. "It goes to the kind of risk preference or tolerance that CEOs and boards are willing to undertake. It goes to the confidence in their business and the overall economy. I think those are the big drivers," Shafir said. "Activity is up; it is fairly broad-based. We're just seeing a dearth of the mega transactions."

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