Citigroup Inc. History

399 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10043-0001

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

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:

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.
The bank converts to a national charter, adopting the name National City Bank of New York (NCB).
NCB becomes the first major U.S. bank to open a foreign department.
Foreign operations are enlarged through the purchase of International Banking Corporation.
NCB is the first U.S. bank to reach $1 billion in assets.
Passage of the Glass-Steagall Act forces NCB to divest its securities affiliate and greatly reduce its financial services offerings.
NCB acquires the First National Bank of New York and changes its name to First National City Bank of New York.
The bank invents a new product: the negotiable certificate of deposit (CD).
The name of the bank is shortened to First National City Bank.
The bank enters the credit card business.
A one-bank holding company, First National City Corporation (FNCC), is created and becomes the parent of the bank.
The name of the holding company is changed to Citicorp.
First National City Bank is renamed Citibank, N.A.
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.
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.
Citicorp merges with financial services giant Travelers Group Inc. to form Citigroup Inc.
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.
Associates First Capital Corporation, a consumer finance company specializing in subprime loans, is acquired and merged into CitiFinancial.
Citigroup acquires Grupo Financiero Banamex, a leading retail bank in Mexico.
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.
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.