Citibank is the consumer division of financial services multinational Citigroup.
Citibank is the consumer division of financial services multinational Citigroup.Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, and later became First National City Bank of New York. Citibank provides credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, commercial loans, and lines of credit.
The bank has 2,649 branches in 19 countries, including 723 branches in the United States and 1,494 branches in Mexico operated by its subsidiary Banamex. The U.S. branches are concentrated in six metropolitan areas: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Miami. In 2016, the United States accounted for 70% of revenue and Mexico accounted for 13% of revenue. Aside from the U.S. and Mexico, most of the company's branches are in Poland, Russia, Pakistan, India and the United Arab Emirates.
Citibank's private-label credit card division, Citi Retail Services, issues store-issued credit cards for such companies as: American Airlines, Best Buy, ConocoPhillips, Costco, ExxonMobil, The Home Depot, Sears, Shell Oil, Staples Inc. and until January 2018, Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
As a result of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and huge losses in the value of its subprime mortgage assets, Citigroup, the parent of Citibank, received a bailout in the form of an investment from the U.S. Treasury. On November 23, 2008, in addition to an initial investment of $25 billion, a further $20 billion was invested in the company along with guarantees for risky assets of $306 billion. The guarantees were issued at a time markets were not confident Citi had enough liquidity to cover loses from those investments. Eventually the Citi shares the Treasury took over in return for the guarantees it issued were booked as net profit for the treasury as Citi had enough liquidity and guarantees did not have to be used. By 2010, Citibank had repaid the loans from the Treasury in full, including interest, resulting in a net profit for the U.S. federal government.
On April 11, 2007, Citigroup, the parent of Citibank, announced layoffs of 17,000 employees, or 8% of its workforce.
On November 4, 2007, Charles Prince resigned as the chairman and chief executive of Citigroup, the parent of Citibank, following crisis meetings with the board in New York in the wake of billions of dollars in losses related to subprime lending. Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin took over as chairman, subsequently hiring Vikram Pandit as chief executive.
On November 5, 2007, several days after Merrill Lynch announced that it too had been losing billions from the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States, Citi reported that it will lose between $8 billion and $11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, in addition to the $6.5 billion it lost in the third quarter of 2007.
Effective November 30, 2007, Citibank sold its 17 Puerto Rico branches, along with $1.0 billion in deposits, to Banco Popular.
In January 2008, Citigroup reported a $10 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2007, after an $18.1 billion write down.
In March 2008, Citibank set up Mobile Money Ventures, a joint venture with SK Telecom, to develop mobile apps for banking. It sold the venture to Intuit in June 2011.
In May 2008, the company closed an $87.5 million leaseback transaction for branches in New York City.
In July 2008, Citibank Privatkunden AG & Co. KGaA, the company's German division, was sold to Crédit Mutuel. On February 22, 2010, it was renamed to Targobank.
In August 2008, after a three-year investigation by the California Attorney General, Citibank was ordered to repay the $14 million that was removed from 53,000 customers accounts over an 11-year period from 1992 to 2003, plus an additional $4 million in interest and penalties. The money was taken under an electronic "account sweeping program" where any positive balances from over-payments or double payments were removed without notice to the customers.
On November 23, 2008, during the financial crisis of 2007–2008, Citigroup was forced to seek federal financing to avoid a collapse similar to those suffered by its competitors Bear Stearns and AIG. The U.S. government provided $25 billion and guarantees to risky assets in exchange for Citigroup stock.
On January 16, 2009, Citigroup announced that it was separating Citi Holdings Inc., its non-core businesses such as brokerage, asset management, and local consumer finance and higher-risk assets, from Citicorp. The split was presented as allowing Citibank to concentrate on its core banking business.
On October 19, 2011, Citigroup, the parent of Citibank, agreed to a $285 million civil fraud penalty after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company of betting against risky mortgage-related investments that it sold to its clients.
In 2014, Citigroup announced it would exit retail banking in 11 markets, primarily in Europe and Central America.
In September 2014, Citibank exited the Texas market with the sale of 41 branches to BB&T.
In September 2015, Citibank announced that it would close its 17 branches in Massachusetts and end sponsorship of a theater in Boston.
In 2015, the bank was ordered to pay $770 million in relief to borrowers for illegal credit card practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said that about 7 million customer accounts were affected by Citibank's "deceptive marketing" practices, which included misrepresenting costs and fees and charging customers for services they did not receive.
On March 1, 2017, an article in The Economic Times of India stated that Citibank may close its 44 branches in India, as digital transactions made them less necessary. The articles wrote that Citibank was “India’s most profitable foreign lender”.
On March 20, 2017, The Guardian reported that hundreds of banks had helped launder KGB-related funds out of Russia, as uncovered by an investigation named Russian Laundromat. Citibank was listed among the American banks that were named as having handled the laundered funds, with banks in the US processing around $63.7 million between 2010 and 2014. Citibank was listed as having processed $37 million of that amount, with others including Bank of America, which processed $14 million. as the bank “handled $113.1 million” in Laundromat cash.