• America's small business owners undaunted by recession.

    By Raj Seshadri, Head of Small Business Banking May 06, 2010 09:20 AM

    Small businesses face big challenges -- in both good economic times and bad. Yet a new Citibank survey suggests that America's entrepreneurs are undaunted by the recession and positive about their future prospects -- despite current difficulties and the lasting effects of the economic downturn.

    The encouraging data was announced this week as we released the results of a survey of more than 550 U.S. small businesses, each with annual revenues exceeding $100,000 and fewer than 100 employees. The survey results show that even in the face of lasting effects from the recent downturn, small business owners -- especially those under 45 -- are optimistic.

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  • Verme visits Moscow.

    By Citi May 05, 2010 05:01 PM

    In March, Citi's Chief Executive Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa Alberto Verme visited the Finance Academy of the Russian Federation, and spoke to students and faculty about the financial services industry in the wake of the financial crisis.

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  • A global economy needs global regulations.

    By Laura Lane, Managing Director and Head of International Government Affairs May 04, 2010 05:30 PM

    With a presence in over 100 countries, Citi has a unique perspective on how global markets are interconnected and what the needs of our clients and customers are worldwide. With that vision, we see it as part of our responsibility to work with governments around the world on the development of new regulations for the financial services industry -- regulations aimed not just at preventing another crisis, but also at ensuring the sector's ability to drive growth, create jobs and promote prosperity.

    Proposed regulations cover a variety of areas that need reform: transparency, standardization, capital and liquidity requirements, resolution authority and more. And while the need for new rules is clear, so too is the need for governments to develop and implement rules based on a shared understanding of market realities and growth drivers. Put simply, regulators should take a global view when designing rules for a global financial system.

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  • Earth matters.

    By Susan Chapman, Chief Administrative Officer for Citi Realty Services May 03, 2010 10:00 AM

    Did you mark Earth Day? We did, and do each day, by continuing to be an industry leader in the area of sustainability. It's a big challenge for a big company - Citi has 12,500 properties in 101 countries and more than 80 million square feet of space.

    Our real estate sustainability team guides earth-conscious practices for Citi facilities globally. With that range of responsibility, imagine the scope of the issues they face while implementing Citi's commitment to green around the world.

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  • Aiding recovery from financial setbacks.

    By Citi April 27, 2010 02:27 PM

    The U.S. unemployment rate is hovering around 10 percent, and more than 6.5 million people nationwide have been out of work longer than six months. These aren't abstractions, but hard facts to live with every day.

    We're committed to doing what we can to help our customers feeling the strain of unemployment or other types of financial setbacks with short- and long-term relief. As we have detailed before on this blog, Citi has a range of innovative programs to help our customers deal with what is often the most serious challenge -- mortgage debt. But our hardship assistance also extends to Citi borrowers who are having difficulty managing other types of debt, such as that from credit cards, auto loans and personal loans.


  • Our promise to small business.

    By Citi April 27, 2010 01:31 PM

    Small business is the backbone of the American economy, and its success is critical to the nation's recovery. Here at Citi, we are committed to providing small business owners with the advice and tools they need to manage their businesses even better, and to grow and create jobs.

    As part of that commitment, we are hosting a series of small business seminars in the New York area that will help business owners make sound financial choices. The program kicked off last week in Brooklyn with an event that focused on the latest techniques to guard against identity theft and online fraud. The series will continue throughout April and early May in Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, with other seminars addressing "Cash Management Strategies."

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  • 2009 Global Citizenship Report.

    By Citi April 27, 2010 09:58 AM

    Today Citi released our 2009 Global Citizenship Report, which details our efforts to combat climate change, promote healthy communities, improve financial capability, manage the environmental and social risks of investments and support customers in times of need.

    Click here to read CEO Vikram Pandit's opening letter, and here to visit the Report's website.

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  • Retail banking restyled.

    By Chris Kay, Managing Director, Head of Innovation April 23, 2010 04:48 PM

    With the launch of our first two new retail branch experiences in Tokyo last week, we're on our way to a reinventing banking to be more customer-centric. We are moving away from the banking model that requires our customers to come to us, to a model where we are everywhere for customers when they need us. We're starting with a new branch that makes banking simple and easy, and allows our customers to have a deeper discussion with Citi about their financial needs.

    The experience includes state-of-the-art touchscreen workstations that our customers can use to complete their daily banking needs on their own, assisted by branch staff, or by video link to online advisers. We're looking at all these experiences being delivered seamlessly to the home, mobile phone, web, or whatever way in which our customers choose to engage.


  • Americans are bullish, but they're playing it safe, finds new Citi survey.

    By Jonathan Clements, Citi's Director of Financial Education April 21, 2010 05:22 PM

    We may be bullish, but we aren't necessarily buying stocks.

    Both the optimism and the wariness of Americans are on display based on the latest survey conducted for Citi by Hart Research. Among folks with $100,000 or more in investable assets, 62 percent say the investment climate will get better over the next six months, while 35 percent say it will get worse.

    Despite this optimism, just 37 percent of investors say this is a good or excellent time to buy individual stocks, while 36 percent say they have been moving money into less risky assets. Indeed, asked whether their strategy was focused on maintaining wealth or building wealth, 57 percent chose maintaining wealth, while 42 percent said building wealth.


  • The basics of banking.

    By Vikram Pandit, CEO April 20, 2010 05:58 PM

    At Citi, we know that the essential role of a bank is to help customers save, invest, spend, borrow and protect their money with trust and confidence. A sharp focus on those basics since our founding nearly 200 years ago made Citi a great institution, winning the business of millions of customers in America and around the world. As I told shareholders at Citi's annual meeting earlier today, we're focusing our energies on these critical functions.

    Our effort starts with understanding our customers and meeting their needs. We're proving this commitment by recognizing the challenges of the current environment and offering customers who are facing financial hardship a range of targeted programs to deal with their circumstances. Since the start of the U.S. housing crisis in 2007 through the first quarter of 2010, Citi has helped more than 900,000 homeowners in their effort to avoid potential foreclosure. Citi has also been helping nearly 1.7 million credit card members manage their card debt through a variety of forbearance programs.