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Citibank, a major international bank, is the consumer banking arm of financial services giant Citigroup. Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, later First National City Bank of New York. As of March 2010[update], Citigroup is the third largest bank holding company in the United States by total assets, after Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.
Citibank has retail banking operations in more than 100 countries and territories around the world. More than half of its 1,400 offices are in the United States, mostly in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Miami. More recently, Citibank has expanded its operations in the Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas.
In addition to the standard banking transactions, Citibank offers insurance, credit card and investment products. Their online services division is among the most successful in the field, claiming about 15 million users.
As a result of the global financial crisis of 2008–2009 and huge losses in the value of its subprime mortgage assets, Citibank was rescued by the U.S. government under plans agreed for Citigroup. On November 23, 2008, in addition to initial aid of $25 billion, a further $25 billion was invested in the corporation together with guarantees for risky assets amounting to $306 billion.
Following its merger with the First National Bank, the bank changed its name to The First National City Bank of New York in 1955, then shortened it to First National City Bank in 1962.
The company organically entered the leasing and credit card sectors, and its introduction of USD certificates of deposit in London marked the first new negotiable instrument in market since 1888. Later to become part of MasterCard, the bank introduced its First National City Charge Service credit card – popularly known as the “Everything Card” – in 1967.
In 1976, under the leadership of CEO Walter B. Wriston, First National City Bank (and its holding company First National City Corporation) was renamed Citibank, N.A. (and Citicorp, respectively). By that time, the bank had created its own “one-bank holding company” and had become a wholly-owned subsidiary of that company, Citicorp (all shareholders of the bank had become shareholders of the new corporation, which became the bank’s sole owner).
The name change also helped to avoid confusion in Ohio with Cleveland-based National City Bank, though the two would never have any significant overlapping areas except for Citi credit cards being issued in the latter National City territory. (In addition, at the time of the name change to Citicorp, National City of Ohio was mostly a Cleveland-area bank and had not gone on its acquisition spree that it would later go on in the 1990s and 2000s.) Any possible name confusion had Citi not changed its name from National City eventually became completely moot when PNC Financial Services acquired the National City of Ohio in 2008 as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis.