• Opt-in is wrong opt-ion.

    By Citi March 18, 2010 06:04 PM

    Citi believes that the proposed overdraft regulations, including "opt-in," don't go far enough in protecting consumers. Before a customer can be charged for an overdraft at an ATM or when using their debit card, they should be given the choice -- at the point of sale -- to approve the transaction or not. And until that happens, the customer does not have true choices. The days of the surprise "$39.00 cup of coffee" are not over until customers have all of the information they need -- at the point of sale.

    At Citi, we've never authorized an overdraft at the ATM or debit point of sale where the customer did not have sufficient funds at the time. On the eve of changing federal regulations, other banks are now telling customers they will also decline these transactions. This is a good thing, even if somewhat late in coming.

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  • Helping get student FAFSA applications done.

    By Citi March 18, 2010 10:14 AM

    Many college-bound students and their families are up against deadlines for applying for financial aid next year. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application is famously cumbersome. Indeed, just to get more young people on the path to college, Washington made it a priority to simplify the form.

    There is help to be found in many communities, too. Citi Foundation recently partnered with the Center for Economic Progress to expand its Financial Aid U program assisting low-income and first-generation students with the complex application requirements. In addition to a $600,000 grant, 50 Citi volunteers are putting their financial expertise to work to help complete forms. Last tax season, the Center for Economic Progress completed 730 FAFSA forms that helped secure $4 million in financial aid.

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  • The new Citi.

    By Citi March 17, 2010 06:12 PM

    Citi's CEO Vikram Pandit's letter to shareholders can be found in the new 2009 Annual Report. In it, he outlines the strong progress the firm made during the year as a "New Citi" emerged from a very challenging period in the financial services industry.

    Mr. Pandit notes that Citi today is fundamentally different from the company of which he became CEO two years ago. Today, Citi is operating on a very strong foundation and is positioned to contribute to the economic recovery and generate sustained profitability for the benefit of all its stakeholders.

    2 comments

  • Citi helps finance upgrades to 20,000 New York public housing units.

    By Citi March 16, 2010 05:46 PM

    Citigroup and the New York City Housing Authority struck what's being called a "creative" fix to finance upgrades to 20,000 local public housing units. The tax credit bond deal generates more than $400 million for the developments, in part by unlocking $108 million in previously announced federal stimulus funds as well as $42 million in New York State modernization funds, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office says. The renovations are also expected to create hundreds of construction jobs.

    The plan capitalizing on private and federal dollars preserves affordable housing. "We want to send a signal to the city where our headquarters is located that we are going to play a much more active role in community development," Citi Community Capital's Andrew Ditton tells Bloomberg News. "This is a showcase for how we can use our financial resources and brain power to create a complex transaction for the public's benefit."

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  • We present to investors.

    By Citi March 11, 2010 01:04 PM

    Along with many industry peers, Citi's CEO Vikram Pandit speaks today at the Citi 2010 Financial Services Conference. Tune in for his outlook as it is shared with the financial community. A live webcast of his keynote presentation will be available at 12:45 PM (EST) at www.citigroup.com/citi/fin. A replay of the webcast will be available at www.citigroup.com/citi/fin/pres.htm.

    1 comment

  • How Citi is changing.

    By Vikram Pandit, CEO March 11, 2010 06:28 AM

    Welcome to new.citi.com, a new way for us to share ideas and create dialogue on all sorts of topics ranging from the global economy to personal finance, from microfinance to mobile technology. Being in more than 100 countries means we have a range of perspectives, and we hope this site will encourage lots of discussion, ideas and debate.

    As Citi begins a new chapter in our nearly 200-year history, this new platform is needed now more than ever. We all are intensely focused on serving our clients and customers, and on leveraging our innovative spirit and international footprint to boost recovery and drive shareholder growth. We know we have a responsibility to do nothing less.

    I hope you'll take the time to join us in this space and participate in conversations. We welcome your feedback and comments. We promise we're listening.

    73 comments

  • Citi protects customers from unnecessary overdraft fees.

    By Citi March 10, 2010 06:24 PM

    Citi helps our customers avoid overdraft fees every day. We have never allowed overdrafts at ATMs or through debit point-of-sale transactions if the customer does not have sufficient funds. We are pleased to see that some other banks are now doing the same in advance of overdraft fee regulations taking effect this year. In addition, Citi also offers low-balance alerts, real-time access to balances online and through mobile services, and overdraft protection products and services, such as our overdraft line of credit and linked accounts with a $10 transfer fee. We're working to make these overdraft protection products available to even more consumers. Also, unlike most of our competitors, we do not assess continuous overdraft charges that can lead to additional costs for consumers.

    5 comments

  • Our report to the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP.

    By Vikram Pandit, CEO March 04, 2010 05:29 PM

    Earlier today, I appeared before the Congressional Oversight Panel on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and had the opportunity to report to the panel on how Citi has fundamentally changed over the course of the last two years by bolstering our financial strength, sharpening our strategy around core banking businesses and overhauling risk management and reducing risk exposures.

    I also reiterated Citi's gratitude for the investments the U.S. government made in Citi and the financial system. In addition, I took the opportunity to discuss Citi's support of prudent and effective reform of the financial regulatory system and our ongoing support of consumers and businesses across the U.S.

    Click here to view the complete prepared testimony.

    7 comments

  • Supporting green innovation in the Big Apple.

    By Citi March 02, 2010 12:02 PM

    Today there's a big need - but also a big opportunity - to support advances in clean technology, and to spur green job creation. Citi and the Citi Foundation have been committed to green initiatives for years, especially at the global level. But we're just as excited to support a new mentorship program right in our backyard that's working to get tomorrow's best ideas off the ground today.

    SJF Advisory Services, a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses in the "cleantech" industry, has matched promising cleantech entrepreneurs in the New York area with experienced industry leaders and veteran entrepreneurs. The aim is that with guidance and feedback from their mentors, peer-to-peer discussions, educational sessions on hot topics, feedback from SJF Ventures' investment team and access to its network - these entrepreneurs will be well equipped to develop and grow their businesses in order to achieve greater impact.

    We wish SJF's first round of program participants much success. To learn more details about the program, check out our press release here.

    2 comments

  • Understanding the CARD Act provisions.

    By Citi February 26, 2010 02:03 PM

    On February 22, 2010, a number of new rules that implement the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act of 2009) went into effect. This federal law was passed in May 2009 and is designed to protect consumers. Some of the new rules already went into effect in August 2009 and more will be implemented in July and August 2010, but the majority of the new rules went into effect this week.

    These new rules will affect the credit card industry in three key areas: the information that must be disclosed to customers; rates, fees and credit limits; and billing and payment practices. Details about these changes can be found at the Federal Reserve's web site.

    4 comments