Citi Consumer Banking

Global giant

Although its official name is Citigroup Inc., the global banking group based in New York and known throughout the world was rebranded as simply "Citi" back in 2007.  Citi has over 200 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries around the world.  Citi's main business divisions are consumer banking, the institutional clients group and global cards.

Citi's commercial and consumer businesses are carried out by the consumer banking group, which includes U.S. and international retail banking (offered by Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica Financial Services and Citibank Direct), U.S. consumer lending (including student loans, real estate lending and auto loans), international consumer finance, a commercial finance group (offering banking, leasing and commercial real estate), and a microfinance group.  The global consumer group is one of Citi's biggest revenue drivers, typically bringing in more than half of each year's Citi-wide earnings.  The institutional clients group includes global banking services such as merger and acquisition advisory, debt, equity, restructuring and underwriting, as well as global capital markets, transaction services and alternative investments.  The global cards business encompasses Citi's worldwide credit card business.

Prior to its rebranding, Citi was revered as the world's largest banking and financial services group, but the financial storm in the recent past has not been kind to this global giant, which has seen billions of dollars wiped off its market value, laid-off tens of thousands of employees, taken $45 billion in assistance from the U.S. government and has sold off some assets, including its brokerage arm to longtime rival Morgan Stanley in January 2009.

From City Bank to Citibank

In 1812, Samuel Osgood, the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury, used $2 million of capital to found a commercial bank called the City Bank of New York.  His creation expanded through the 1800s, offering consumer lending and conducting business internationally.  It took the name City Bank in 1865 and, by 1894, was the largest bank in the U.S. By 1929, it was the largest commercial bank in the world.

First National City Bank (as it was then known) became Citibank N.A. in 1976; its holding company was known as Citicorp. In 1998, Citicorp merged with Travelers, a corporation which included the Travelers Corp. insurance company, the Salomon Smith Barney investment bank, the Commercial Credit Loan Company and Primerica financial services.  The resulting entity was Citigroup, led by former Commercial Credit chairman Sandy Weill.  In 2003, Charles O. "Chuck" Prince III took over from Weill.  Prince led a 2007 overhaul of the bank's image, swapping its red umbrella logo for a streamlined red arc and changing its brand name from Citigroup to simply Citi.  The old red umbrella can still be seen at Travelers insurance offices.  Travelers was spun off from Citi and merged with the St. Paul Companies in 2004, becoming St. Paul Travelers.

Look who's on top

Vikram Pandit became the chief executive of Citigroup in December 2007, replacing interim chief executive Sir Winfried Bischoff, who became chairman of the board as well as remaining chief executive of Citigroup in Europe.  Pandit succeeded Chuck Prince (Charles O. Prince III), who had taken his post in 2003 amid some shareholder frustration that Citi's stock prices weren't matching those of its peers.  Pandit's job has not been easy, taking the helm of the world's largest banking and financial services group during the worst financial crisis the world has seen in modern times.

Pandit joined Citi just after the global banking group purchased Old Lane Partner, the hedge fund that Pandit set up after leaving Morgan Stanley.  At the time of his appointment, industry commentators noted that in the wake of the losses which the group was hit with under Prince, Pandit would have to address the firm's risk management practices to win back the confidence of staff and investors.  Although Pandit lowered the bank's costs and allowed reinvestments in growth in 2007, the following year was not so peachy.  In 2008, the firm received a United States Federal Reserve bailout of a whopping $45 billion.



Citi Consumer Banking


399 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10043
Phone: (800) 285-3000
Fax: (212) 793-3946
www.citi.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: C
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • CEO: Vikram S. Pandit
  • 2010 Employees: 269,000

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY
  • Long Island City, NY

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