Citigroup Inc. History

Address:
399 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10043-0001
U.S.A.

Telephone: (212) 559-1000
Toll Free: 800-285-3000
Fax: (212) 793-3946

Website:
Public Company
Incorporated: 1812 as the City Bank of New York
Employees: 255,000
Total Assets: $1.09 trillion (2002)
Stock Exchanges: New York Pacific Mexican
Ticker Symbol: C
NAIC: 522110 Commercial Banking; 522210 Credit Card Issuing; 522291 Consumer Lending; 522220 Sales Financing; 522320 Financial Transactions Processing, Reserve, and Clearing House Activities; 523110 Investment Banking and Securities Dealing; 523120 Securities Brokerage; 523991 Trust, Fiduciary, and Custody Activities; 524113 Direct Life Insurance Carriers; 525910 Open-End Investment Funds; 523920 Portfolio Management; 551111 Offices of Bank Holding Companies

Company Perspectives:

We are an economic enterprise with ... a relentless focus on growth, aiming to increase earnings by double digits on average; a global orientation, but with deep local roots in every market where we operate; a highly diversified base of earnings that enables us to prosper under difficult market conditions; capital employed in higher-margin businesses, each one of which is capable of profitable growth on a stand-alone basis; financial strength protected by financial discipline, enabling us to take risks commensurate with rewards to capture attractive opportunities; a close watch on our overhead costs, but with a willingness to invest prudently in our infrastructure--we spend money like it's our own; a focus on technological innovation, seamlessly delivering value to our customers across multiple platforms.

Key Dates:

1812:
Colonel Samuel Osgood takes over the New York branch of First Bank of the United States and reorganizes it as City Bank of New York.
1865:
The bank converts to a national charter, adopting the name National City Bank of New York (NCB).
1897:
NCB becomes the first major U.S. bank to open a foreign department.
1918:
Foreign operations are enlarged through the purchase of International Banking Corporation.
1919:
NCB is the first U.S. bank to reach $1 billion in assets.
1933:
Passage of the Glass-Steagall Act forces NCB to divest its securities affiliate and greatly reduce its financial services offerings.
1955:
NCB acquires the First National Bank of New York and changes its name to First National City Bank of New York.
1961:
The bank invents a new product: the negotiable certificate of deposit (CD).
1962:
The name of the bank is shortened to First National City Bank.
1965:
The bank enters the credit card business.
1968:
A one-bank holding company, First National City Corporation (FNCC), is created and becomes the parent of the bank.
1974:
The name of the holding company is changed to Citicorp.
1976:
First National City Bank is renamed Citibank, N.A.
1987:
Citicorp sets aside a $3 billion reserve fund as a provision against potentially bad Third World loans and also posts a $1.2 billion loss for the year.
1991:
Restructuring and other charges result in an $885 million loss for the third quarter, and company shareholders do not receive a quarterly dividend for the first time since 1813.
1998:
Citicorp merges with financial services giant Travelers Group Inc. to form Citigroup Inc.
1999:
Passage of the Financial Services Modernization Act, which does away with the regulation of Glass-Steagall, blesses the marriage of Citicorp and Travelers after the fact, meaning the firm can engage in both banking and insurance.
2000:
Associates First Capital Corporation, a consumer finance company specializing in subprime loans, is acquired and merged into CitiFinancial.
2001:
Citigroup acquires Grupo Financiero Banamex, a leading retail bank in Mexico.
2002:
Citigroup spins off Travelers Property Casualty; the company becomes embroiled in scandals involving its equity research and investment banking operations as well as loans to Enron Corporation.
2003:
The corporation agrees to pay $400 million to settle the equity research charges and $145.5 million to settle the Enron case.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Bianco, Anthony, and Heather Timmons, "Crisis at Citi," Business Week, September 6, 2002, pp. 34-38, 40, 42.
  • Bianco, Anthony, et al., "Citi's New Act," Business Week, July 28, 2003, pp. 30+.
  • Citibank, Nader and the Facts, New York: Citibank, 1974.
  • "Citicorp Battling Back," Economist, April 25, 1992, pp. 84, 86.
  • "Citigroup: Fall Guy," Economist, November 7, 1998.
  • Cleveland, Harold van B., and Thomas F. Huertas, Citibank, 1812-1970, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985.
  • Creswell, Julie, "Banks on the Hot Seat," Fortune, September 2, 2002, pp. 79-80, 82.
  • Egan, Jack, "The Fight to Stay on Top," U.S. News and World Report, December 30, 1991/January 6, 1992, pp. 70-71.
  • "Financial Mergers: Complex Equations," Economist, June 5, 1999.
  • Hutchison, Robert A., Off the Books, New York: William Morrow and Company, 1986.
  • Kadlec, Daniel, "Citi Slicker," Time, October 7, 2002, pp. 67+.
  • Langley, Monica, Tearing Down the Walls: How Sandy Weill Fought His Way to the Top of the Financial World--and Then Nearly Lost It All, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.
  • Lee, Peter, "Is Citi Back from the Dead?," Euromoney, December 1992, p. 30.
  • Leindorf, David, and Donald Etra, Ralph Nader's Study Group Report on First National City Bank, New York: Grossman, 1973.
  • Loomis, Carol J., "Citigroup: Scenes from a Merger," Fortune, January 11, 1999, pp. 76-78+.
  • ------, "Sandy Weill's Monster," Fortune, April 16, 2001, pp. 106+.
  • ------, "Whatever It Takes," Fortune, November 25, 2002, pp. 74+.
  • Meeham, John, and William Glasgall, "Citi's Nightmares Just Keep Getting Worse," Business Week, October 28, 1991, pp. 124-25.
  • Miller, Richard Bradford, Citicorp: The Story of a Bank in Crisis, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.
  • Miller, Suzanne, "Is Sandy Losing Focus?," Banker, September 2002, pp. 24-26, 28.
  • Pacelle, Mitchell, and Laurie P. Cohen, "J.P. Morgan, Citigroup Will Pay $305 Million to Settle Enron Case," Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2003, pp. A1, A2.
  • Pacelle, Mitchell, and Monica Langley, "Citigroup's Weill Taps a Top Aide As His Successor," Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2003, pp. A1, A6.
  • Prince, C.J., "The Dealmaker," Chief Executive (U.S.), July 2002, pp. 28+.
  • Silverman, Gary, et al., "Is This Marriage Working?," Business Week, June 7, 1999, pp. 127-34.
  • Stone, Amey, and Mike Brewster, King of Capital: Sandy Weill and the Making of Citigroup, New York: Wiley, 2002.
  • Thomas, Landon, Jr., "Citigroup's Chairman Is Barred from Direct Talks with Analysts," New York Times, April 29, 2003, p. C1.
  • Timmons, Heather, et al., "Citi's Sleepless Nights: The Bank Faces Lawsuits, Fines, and Closer Scrutiny," Business Week, August 5, 2002, pp. 42-43.
  • Timmons, Heather, Geri Smith, and Frederik Balfour, "Sandy Weill Wants the World," Business Week, June 4, 2001, pp. 88, 90.
  • "The Trials of Megabanks," Economist, October 31, 1998.
  • "Watch Out for the Egos," Economist, April 11, 1998.
  • Zweig, Phillip L., Wriston: Walter Wriston, Citibank, and the Rise and Fall of American Financial Supremacy, New York: Crown, 1995.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.59. St. James Press, 2004.