Citibank Opens First Branch In Lucknow, Focuses On UP

Lucknow, Feb 26: | Updated: Feb 27 2004, 05:30am hrs
Citibank on Wednesday opened its 25th branch in the country and its first branch in Lucknow aiming at a special focus on Uttar Pradesh, the largest populated state which had so far remained untapped but had huge business potential.

The bank plans to have 50 branches in the country by end-2005 including a branch at Kanpur. It has grand plans for Uttar Pradesh and according to Sarvesh Sarup, country business manager, Global Consumer Group, Citigroup India, the bank would target about 25 per cent of total banking business in Uttar Pradesh in next five years.

For the Lucknow branch, the target is to have at least 10,000 customer accounts by the end of the next financial year. Amit Shah, marketing director, investment, insurance and banking services, informed that for the Lucknow branch a target of between Rs 50 to Rs 75 crore deposits and Rs 100 crore of advances had been set during the maiden year of operation.

Mr Sarup claimed that the fully automated branch would bring the best of global banking technology and deliver round-the-clock modern banking services to individual customers. With this, Citibank has expanded its presence in the north to a total of nine branches.

The branch would offer a range of wealth management products such as investment, insurance and art advisory under the Citigold banner, rupee checking accounts for NRIs and its latest offering called the globe deposit product.

This product enables an investor to invest $25,000 in international markets in ten currencies. In addition, the customers would have access to 24-hour banking through multiple channels such as ATMs, CitiPhones, Citibank online through the banks portal and Citibank banking centres.

The branch would also offer products including Citibank savings accounts, fixed deposits, globe deposits, investment services, Citibank current account, credit cards, debit cards, personal loans, auto loans, durable finance, insurance and NRI services.

Mr Sarup denied that there had been any instances when the bank had used musclemen for recovery of loans or resorted to unconstitutional and illegal methods. He said that the bank was well within its rights to ensure recovery of loan but had never used unlawful means and infact other new generation banks were following Citibank model and copying its products and services.