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Have something to say to Citi?

This week, Citigroup added one more blog to the universe. It includes video interviews with Citi executives in charge of things like risk, mortgages and credit cards. CEO Vikram Pandit even delivers his own message, and something akin to an apology:

"When you look at Citi and what we've been through in the past year, it's clear we made some mistakes coming into this environment and we have to acknowledge that and take responsibility for what we didn't do correctly. It all starts by making sure you take responsibility for what you went into and take responsibility for how you are goin' to get Citi out of this."

Pandit also makes this statement:

"At the heart of it, we are a bank, not a financial supermarket. We are a bank."

So far, the financial supermarket's site is pretty light on comments. Perhaps they're getting lots of them, but they aren't fit to publish. Or maybe no one knows about it yet. There a few comments like "I love the blog!" And a couple of people have asked questions. Then there's this comment:

Is this a comedy site or just a little tongue in cheek?

As a business prof, I want to thank Citi for providing an unlimited amount of class material, mostly on how not to manage a company.

Well, they asked for it. The site is pretty typical corporate stuff, but at least they're not hiding from the public. Fire away!

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Citibank is THE bank for lottery scam artists, after all, that is where the white sheep of the family got their loans for the little markets. Especially the full service ones.
Games, food, drink, and moneymail.

Thanks! I will definetely check out the blog. I have some things that I wanted to tell corporate.

I'm actually a very happy Citi customer. I do sometimes find myself struggling with the social guilt that is associated with this when my peers find out. But I keep telling myself I didn't take the bailout money. I didn't make the business decisions Citi did.

Overall I don't view Citi as the largest bank in the world. It's just the local branch that I walk into. Where I say hi to Zurmana, Eddie, and Jose. I never pay penalty fees or interest fees. Instead of overdraft fees, Citi gave me a line of credit they just charge me the interest for the exact amount I overdrafted till I pay it off. I get paid interest and rewards points for keeping my money there.

The times I am glad that Citi is the largest bank is when someone else tries to hit me with penalties because they said I didn't pay them or that I paid late. I do everything with Citi's online billpay. They guarantee on time payment if I schedule it correctly and if there is a problem Citi takes care of it for me. My landlord once tried to penalize me for a late rent payment. She wasn't reasonable in believing that I did send it on time and wouldn't just let me pay the rent without the penalty. I contacted Citi and they handled it for me. Landlord told me she doesn't ever want to have to deal with Citibank again over a payment issue. I am more than happy that I have the largest bank in the world and all its resources to back me up.

Geez.....Vikram Pandit says Citigroup is a bank? Juat a bank? Not a financial supermarket?

Did he tell Robert Rubin about this change of heart? Well, former Treasury Secretary Rubin isn't on the Citi board anymore so maybe it doesn't matter. Rob took his many millions in compensation from Citi (after he left Treasury he went back to Citi, where he came from prior to going to Treasury...talk about a revolving door...I think I'm going to be ill.) and retired somewhere.

I bought a few thousand shares of Citi back last spring in the $2's. Sold it for a modest profit when they decided to dilute the existing shares by issuing something like $25 billion in new stock so that they could pay back TARP and not deal with the pay issue.

I just didn't want to be associated with the company anymore.

That's my Citi comment.....

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