Citigroup Introduces New Services in European Clearing to Improve Liquidity Management and Enhance Processing Efficiency
New York, NY April 10, 2006 — Global Transaction Services, a business unit of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, a leading provider of Euro clearing solutions launches two new services to help financial institutions and their clients capitalize on changes in European payments-clearing requirements. One of these services enhances cash concentration and liquidity management. The second uses the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) – now required for country-to-country payments within the European Payment Zone – to improve the efficiency of payments originating in other parts of the world to beneficiaries in Europe.
Enhancing Cash Concentration & Liquidity Management – Multibank Target Balancing:
Multibank Target Balancing, manages liquidity across multiple banks, automatically consolidating idle cash from any number of accounts held at multiple banks into a central Citigroup account. This two-way funds transfer is an automated intra-day sweep, at a client-selected timing and frequency (e.g. daily, weekly or monthly). The solution simplifies liquidity management, and facilitates internal funding as well as enhanced return on working capital by concentrating and investing a greater portion of idle balances.
“Multibank Target Balancing enables balances held across our clients' banking relationships to be fully integrated into a single liquidity management solution,” said Karin Flinspach, Managing Director for EMEA Liquidity and Investments. “We recognise that our clients bank with a range of institutions worldwide and our solution automates idle funds consolidation and simplifies liquidity management, freeing up client resources for more strategic activities.”
Citigroup has also introduced changes to its global payments platform that enable institutions in other parts of the world, and their clients, to benefit from new requirements for messaging on electronic payments to Europe.
Straight Through Processing without the Beneficiary Bank BIC:
On Jan. 1, 2006, the Interbank Convention of Payments rules requiring international bank account numbers (IBANs) on intra-European Union/European Economic Area.
(EU/EEA) cross-border credit transfers went into effect. As banks begin to enforce these requirements, IBANs and bank identifier codes (BICs) will be recognized as the only beneficiary customer account identifier and bank-routing designation. If there is no IBAN or BIC in the payment message, a bank can designate the transfer as a “value-added service” and charge a fee for that service. In the years ahead, these same requirements will apply to payments initiated by non EU/EEA banks to countries in the European Union and European Economic Area.
Eileen Dignen, Managing Director for Global Payments for Banks, said, “While IBAN requirements are not scheduled to apply until some time in the future for payments into Europe from outside the EU/EEA, as a recognized leader in Euro clearing, we’re offering clients a chance to get ahead of the curve. “ This service helps clients adjust to the new requirements, as payments to Europe through Citigroup can be routed using just the IBAN.
Dignen adds, “There’s no need to identify the beneficiary bank on a separate line. Citigroup’s payment platform, CitiFT, can automatically derive the beneficiary bank information from the IBAN. Imagine, payment routing without a beneficiary bank BIC! This service will help clients reduce the time and cost of payments processing.” With the introduction of this service, Citigroup becomes the first bank to offer this capability to clients outside Europe.
“Recent changes in banking regulations are paving the way
for a variety of innovations,” said Dignen. “We’ll
continue to watch these changes closely, and as new requirements
emerge, we’ll move quickly to deliver new services that take
advantage of the opportunities they create.”
Citigroup (NYSE: C), 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, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, and Banamex. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com
About Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking
Our Corporate and Investment Banking group achieves the extraordinary for our clients around the world. No financial institution is more committed to understanding and advancing the goals of its clients - our diverse and talented staff in some 100 countries advises companies, governments, and institutional investors on the best way to realize their strategic objectives. We create solutions for and provide the broadest possible capital and market access to thousands of issuer and investor clients, and no institution better executes the increasingly complex payment and cash management solutions required in today's global economy. Core business lines under Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking include Global Capital Markets, Global Banking and Global Transaction Services.