RealTime IT News

The Citi Never Sleeps

Citigroup Inc. affirmed its commitment to the online medium, launching Cititrade, a brand new standalone discount brokerage service, and a spiffed up online banking operation called Citibank Online.

The direct, discount brokerage service was developed by Citicorp Investment Services and was designed "to deliver superior service by combining high tech with high touch," the banking company said.

Cititrade's offerings include research by Salomon Smith Barney analysts, fast, accurate order executions, an online bill payment service and proprietary interactive financial and planning tools.

SSB Citi Asset Management is introducing a new line of index funds as part of Cititrade's offering. Customers can invest online or through the 24/7 Cititrade Client Service Center.

The brokerage also offers simplified tax preparation with full gain/loss reporting, the ability to select specific shares from tax lots when trading online, and integration with tax preparation software. The basic fee schedule is $29.95 per online trade plus three cents per share for every share over 1,000, according to the Web site.

Citibank Online is a complete financial management center that offers the best of Citibank's Direct Access online service - with free bill payment, ability to see all accounts in one place and access to Citibank products and services -- plus the ability to customize the home page and access more financial tools.

Citibank said it currently has approximately 500,000 online banking customers in the United States. Direct Access users in Nevada are the first customers to be migrated to the new service, and Citibank Online will roll-out across the U.S. over the coming months.

Citibank Online, a free service to customers, will offer customizable home pages, enhanced research capabilities covering money basics, insurance planning, home ownership, education planning and credit and borrowing.

"The introduction of these two Citigroup services further demonstrates our commitment to a multi-tier strategy of delivering products to customers through whatever channel they prefer," said Robert Willumstad, vice chairman of Citigroup's Global Consumer Group.