Citigroup Opens New Trade Service Windows in California
Clients Can Process Letters of Credit Locally for Improved Convenience, Effeciency and Savings
New York, August 21, 2006 — Global Transaction Services, a business unit of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking and the Commercial Business Group, which serves middle market businesses in the United States, today announced the opening of two Trade Service Windows on the West Coast of the United States. The new Windows — located in San Francisco and Glendale, California — enable clients to process letters of credit (LCs) locally for greatly improved convenience, efficiency and savings in time and costs.
"Our clients on the West Coast — and those around the world with trade dealings there — have asked for the Trade Service Windows because of the personalized service and faster processing they provide," says Claudia Slacik, Global Head, Trade Services and Finance, Global Transaction Services. "At Citigroup, our overriding goal is to support our clients' success by delivering superior products and services that facilitate trade worldwide. By opening the Trade Services Windows in California, we are able to accelerate the processing of export transactions and streamline the global supply chain for the benefit of our clients on the West Coast and around the world."
With the two new Trade Service Windows in California, Citigroup clients receive local customer service and under-one-roof processing of their letter of credit transactions. They also receive the benefit of rapid turnaround time on trade transactions and queries, while also gaining integrated solutions for settlement, risk mitigation, trade finance and information services. The new Windows, which supplement Citigroup's current U.S. service facility in Tampa, Florida, are expected to shorten West Coast transaction processing time significantly.
Says Christian Louis, Commercial Business Group Trade and Foreign Exchange Product Head at Citigroup: "This service will enable California exporters to speed up the trade cycle and make their business more efficient. We invite all California businesses with export letters of credit to use the Windows and learn how Citigroup can help them succeed."
Each of Citigroup's Trade Service Windows is staffed by a dedicated team of trade operations and customer service specialists. "The professionals at the San Francisco Trade Service Window are enormously helpful to us," says Candace Hsu, Assistant Treasurer, UTStarcom, a global leader in IP-based, end-to-end networking solutions and international service and support. "Not only are they very knowledgeable about the letters of credit we produce for issuance all over the world, they also know their way around the Citigroup global network to get us what we need. Every day, they give us a level of attention that is exceptional."
"For our clients," says Erik Wanberg, North America Trade Head, "the Trade Windows in California provide an attractive combination of advantages: superior client service available locally in the same time zone, plus seamless access to Citigroup's unparalleled global capabilities. For us at Citigroup, the Windows allow us to be closer to our clients and strengthen our relationships with them. Based on our clients' positive reaction to this new service, we are expanding services in North America based on high growth in the marketplace."
With a market-leading network spanning 72 countries and 104 cities, Trade Services and Finance delivers comprehensive solutions to suppliers and buyers worldwide. Clients benefit from the innovative ideas of Citigroup's trade professionals, enabling them to manage risk, improve working capital, control trade flows and multiple currency cash flows, and access information to facilitate the management of trade activities. In recognition of its market leadership, Trade Services and Finance received Trade Finance "Awards for Excellence 2006" for Best Structured Trade Bank, Best Trade Services Bank Best Short-Term Trade Finance Bank, Best Trade Bank in Asia, Best Trade Bank in China and Best Trade Bank in Thailand. It also received The Banker Technology Awards 06/Trade Finance Project and was cited as Best Global Trade Finance Provider 06 by Trade & Forfaiting Review.
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, securities brokerage, and wealth 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
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.