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Citi Card


Citibank has retail banking operations in more than 160 countries and territories around the world. More than half of its 1,400 offices are in the United States, mostly in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, D.C. and Miami. More recently, Citibank has expanded its operations in the Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Dallas metropolitan areas.

In addition to the standard banking transactions, Citibank offers insurance, credit cards and investment products. Their online services division is among the most successful in the field [2] claiming about 15 million users.

In 1863, the bank joined the U.S.s new national banking system and became The National City Bank of New York. By 1868, it was considered one of the largest banks in the United States, and in 1897, it became the first major U.S. bank to establish a foreign department.

Following its merger with the First National Bank in 1955, the bank changed its name to The First National City Bank of New York, then shortened it to First National City Bank in 1962.

The company organically entered the leasing and credit card sectors, and its introduction of US dollar denominated certificates of deposit in London marked the first new negotiable instrument in the market since 1888. Later to become part of MasterCard, the bank introduced its First National City Charge Service credit card – popularly known as the "Everything Card" – in 1967.[9]

In 1976, under the leadership of CEO Walter B. Wriston, First National City Bank (and its holding company First National City Corporation) was renamed Citibank, N.A. (and Citicorp, respectively). By that time, the bank had created its own "one-bank holding company" and had become a wholly owned subsidiary of that company, Citicorp (all shareholders of the bank had become shareholders of the new corporation, which became the banks sole owner).

The name change also helped to avoid confusion in Ohio with Cleveland-based National City Bank, though the two would never have any significant overlapping areas except for Citi credit cards being issued in the latter National City territory. (In addition, at the time of the name change to Citicorp, National City of Ohio was mostly a Cleveland-area bank and had not gone on its acquisition spree that it would later go on in the 1990s and 2000s.) Any possible name confusion had Citi not changed its name from National City eventually became completely moot when PNC Financial Services acquired the National City of Ohio in 2008 as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis.

Shortly afterward, the bank launched the Citicard, which allowed customers to perform all transactions without a passbook. Branches also had terminals with simple one-line displays that allowed customers to get basic account information without a bank teller. When automatic teller machines were later introduced, customers could use their existing Citicard.

In the 1960s the bank entered into the credit card business. In 1965, First National City Bank bought Carte Blanche from Hilton Hotels. Three years later, the bank (under pressure from the U.S. government) sold this division. By 1968, the company created its own credit card. The card, known as "The Everything Card", was promoted as a kind of East Coast version of the BankAmericard. By 1969, First National City Bank decided that the Everything Card was too costly to promote as an independent brand and joined Master Charge (now MasterCard). Citibank unsuccessfully tried again in 1977–1987 to create a separate credit card brand, the Choice Card.

John S. Reed was selected CEO in 1984, and Citi became a founding member of the CHAPS clearing house in London. Under his leadership, the next 14 years would see Citibank become the largest bank in the United States, the largest issuer of credit cards and charge cards in the world, and expand its global reach to over 90 countries.[9]

As the banks expansion continued, the Narre Warren-Caroline Springs credit card company was purchased in 1981. In 1981, Citibank chartered a South Dakota subsidiary to take advantage of new laws that raised the states maximum permissible interest rate on loans to 25 percent (then the highest in the nation). In many other states, usury laws prevented banks from charging interest that aligned with the extremely high costs of lending money in the late 1970s and early 1980s, making consumer lending unprofitable. Currently, there is no maximum interest rate or usury restriction under South Dakota law when a written agreement is formed.[10]

Citibanks major presence in California is fairly recent. The bank had only a handful of branches in that state before acquiring the assets of California Federal Bank in 2002 with Citicorps purchase of Golden State Bancorp which had earlier merged with First Nationwide Mortgage Corp.

In 2008, Citibank was crowned Deal of the Year – Securitisation Deal of the Year at the 2008 ALB Japan Law Awards.