|April 10, 2008||Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C)|
New York, NY – Citibank and Banco Bolivariano today announced a partnership to significantly expand Citibank's Remittance services to Ecuador, providing Ecuadorian Clients in the United States with the ability to quickly, easily, and inexpensively send money to Banco Bolivariano's 190 distribution points throughout Ecuador.
"Citi and Banco Bolivariano will bring Ecuadorian families closer together and provide our clients with a convenient and competitive remittance service, making their cross-border transfers easier," said Robert Annibale, Citi's Global Director of Microfinance. "This partnership reflects our commitment to provide our clients with a full range of financial services in both countries."
In 2007, according to the Inter-American Development Bank, Ecuador received more than $3 billion in remittances from abroad. The Central Bank of Ecuador estimates that 55% – close to $2 billion – came from the United States with more than $500 million coming from New York alone. Over the last few years, remittances to Ecuador have surpassed the volume of Official Development Assistance and Foreign Direct Investment in the country and are the second largest financial inflow from abroad, after revenues from oil exports.
"Today's announcement highlights the advantages that Citi's global reach provides our clients and helps make Citi the bank of choice for the Ecuadorian community in the United States," said Peter Knitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Citibank North America.
Miguel Babra, Chief Executive Officer, Banco Bolivariano, joined Citi at the opening. "We are excited to join hands with Citi, one of the leading financial institutions in the world, with a strong franchise in Ecuador and commitment to serving the Ecuadorian community in the U.S. and their families in Ecuador," said Mr. Babra.
Through the service, Citibank and Banco Bolivariano make sending money back to Ecuador inexpensive and easy to use with one simple form. Citibank clients can send up to $3,000 per day to Ecuador for a flat fee – as low as $5. There are no additional costs for this transaction. Most funds are available for pick up within 24 hours.
For prospective clients, who do not have an account with Citibank and would like to take advantage of this great service, the solution is easy. They may open an Access Account with Citibank. The Access Account is designed for individuals who may have never had a bank account or who wish to have an account that is inexpensive, easy to open and manage. The account offers access to a wide variety of Citibank's financial products and services such as statements in Spanish, online banking in Spanish and financial education seminars.
The Access Account is convenient and affordable to all and provides customers with a safe way to manage and save money while building credit history. It will also save customers money while making it quick and easy to send money to family and friends in Ecuador. The Access Account was developed as part of Citibank's ongoing commitment to provide the best in class products and services to the Hispanic community.
Citibank has had operations in Ecuador for 48 years, offering world class products and services and contributing to Ecuador's overall economic development.
Please visit www.citibank.com or www.citibank.com/espanol or stop by the nearest Citibank Financial Center to learn more about our Ecuador Remittance program and Access Account or call 1-877-REMIT-33 for additional information.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citi’s major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Nikko. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.