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February 6, 2012 / Todd Larsen

Mega-Bank Hall of Shame: First Inductee Citigroup

We have many Halls of Fame in the US: every sport has one and there’s one for rock and roll. However, sometimes we need to “honor” those who are the worst of the worst, to call attention to their abuses and hopefully get them to change course while getting people to consider alternative.  In those cases, we need a Hall of Shame.  Based on its proven capacity to do harm to the United States and the world, we think no industry deserves a Hall of Shame more than banking.

As part of Green America’s Break Up With Your Mega-Bank Campaign, we’re now launching the Mega-Bank Hall of Shame.  We’ll be periodically adding financial institutions to the list and taking nominees from readers.  We’re launching the Hall of Shame with Citigroup, one of the largest banks in the world.

What qualifies Citigroup for the Hall of Shame?  Here’s a partial list of their actions that we think merits their inclusion.

Predatory Lending Practices.  For the past decade, there have been multiple allegations of predatory lending practices by Citigroup.  Predatory lending is financing that saddles borrowers with exorbitant interest rates and fees and unfair terms.  The result is the stripping of wealth from low-income communities.  In 2001, Green America and the Social Investment Forum called attention to Citigroup’s predatory lending practices a decade ago and an outcry from thousands of consumers got Citigroup to clean up some of its worse practices.  In addition, the Federal Trade Commission sued Citigroup for predatory lending practices and settled with the banking giant in 2002 for $215 million. However, as late as 2009, data analyzed by Fair Finance Watch found that Citi, and three other major lenders (JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America) were still saddling minority borrowers with higher cost loans, while also turning them down for loans more frequently.

High Fees.  Citigroup and other major banks keep coming up with new fees for many of its account holders.  Most recently, in December 2011, Citigroup raised its fees on a basic checking account.

Illegitimate Foreclosures.  Citigroup is one of the banks that is being sued by Massachusetts and other states for engaging in improper foreclosures against homeowners.  A key claim of the lawsuit is that Citigroup and other banks used “robo-signers” in foreclosing on homeowners and failed to perform due diligence.  In addition, Citigroup and other banks are alleged to be improperly foreclosing on US Service Members.

Abusing Investors.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Citigroup for lying to investors about the soundness of its investment products.  Citigroup was allegedly telling investors that the investments were sound, while betting against the same investments.  According to the filed complaint, Citigroup made $160 million, while investors lost $700 million.  The SEC recently tried to settle this case, but the presiding judge refused to sign off on the settlement, essentially saying that the SEC was letting Citigroup off too easily.  The Federal Housing Financing Agency is also suing Citigroup and 16 other lenders for misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about the safety and soundness of mortgages the entities purchased from Citigroup.

Gender Discrimination.  A group of woman plaintiffs is suing Citigroup for allegedly laying off female employees disproportionately, retaining men with lower performance evaluations, and/or treating women to a hostile environment.

Fostering Climate Change.  As I wrote in a previous post, Citigroup is one of our major banks that claims to screen its lending for climate change issues, but continues to be a major supporter of sources of  climate change.

The bottom line:  if you are a person of color, a woman, a moderate-income account holder, an investor, or someone who cares about people and the planet, then Citigroup is not the bank for you.  If you bank with Citigroup, check out Green America’s Guide to Community Investing to find financial institutions that build communities and treat their customers well.  If you need help in breaking up with Citigroup, you can download our free kit.

If you break up with Citigroup, please share your experience on our blog.  And, if you have more to say about Citigroup than what you see above, please share it.

12 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. ecogayle / Feb 23 2012 10:09 am

    I broke up with my mega bank years ago. However my real estate company, has entered into a relationship with Citi and they are represented in all of our offices. I have no intention of EVER recommending them to my clients. My company, Keller Williams Realty is a very conscious company on almost all matters. This alliance is unfortunate.

  2. Ryan Shearwaters / Mar 13 2012 1:26 pm

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  3. Robert Clapton / Dec 5 2012 4:38 am

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  4. Sorin Lassmann / May 20 2013 5:06 am

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  5. Eng Harrison Navid / Jun 24 2013 9:26 pm

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  6. David Bonn / Jul 10 2013 4:34 am

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    We offer Fresh We are direct providers of Fresh Cut BG, SBLC and MTN which are specifically for lease, our bank instrument can be engage in PPP
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    1. Instrument: Bank Guarantee ( BG/ SBLC) ( Appendix A)
    2. Total Face Value: Eur 5M MIN and Eur 10B MAX ( Ten Billion USD) .
    3. Issuing Bank: HSBC Bank London, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank
    Frankfurt.
    4. Age: One Year, One Month

    5. Leasing Price: 6% of Face Value plus 2% commission fees to brokers.
    6. Delivery: Bank to Bank swift.
    7. Payment: MT-103 or MT760
    8. Hard Copy: Bonded Courier within 7 banking days.

    he Leased Instruments includes: BG’ s, Insurance Guarantees, MTN, ( SBLC)
    Standby Letters of Credit and Third Party Guarantees such as a standby
    forward commitment to purchase or a standby loan. If you are a potential
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    Our BG/ SBLC Financing can help you get your project funded, loan financing,
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    h Cut BG, SBLC, MTN&Loan

  7. Vildan / Jan 14 2014 5:22 am

    Dear Sir/ma

    We are direct providers of Fresh Cut BG, SBLC and MTN which are specifically for lease, our bank instrument can be engage in PPP Trading, Discounting, signature project(s) such as Aviation, Agriculture, Petroleum, Telecommunication, construction of Dams, Bridges, Real Estate and all kind of projects. We do not have any broker chain in our offer or get involved in chauffer driven offers. We deliver with time and precision as sethforth in the agreement. Our terms and Conditions are reasonable, below is our instrument description.

    DESCRIPTION OF INSTRUMENTS:
    1. Instrument: Bank Guarantee (BG/SBLC)(Appendix A)
    2. Total Face Value: Eur 10M MIN and Eur 5B MAX (Five Billion USD).
    3. Issuing Bank: HSBC, London or Deutsche Bank Frankfurt or any Top 25 WEB
    4. Age: One Year, One Day
    5. Leasing Price: 5.5% of Face Value plus 2% commission fees to brokers.
    6. Delivery: SWIFT TO SWIFT.
    7. Payment: MT-103.
    8. Hard Copy: Bonded Courier within 7 banking days.

    Skype id: vildan.nov

    Name:Vildan Imenov

    Email Address: Vildan.nav@gmail.com

    All relevant business information will be provided upon request.

  8. Lonrenzo / Jan 17 2014 8:36 pm

    Our company is an endorsed mandate of some investors from Arabian Origin with lots of funds. We can

    deliver bank papers/Instruments (BG/SBLC/MTN) without an upfront Wire Transfer into provider’s account.

    We only want clients with ready funds for successful closure of the transaction and also they must be

    ready to show the proof of his funds. Interested clients should send an email to

    fundinvesmtents55@gmail.com ASAP as we have a lot of interested clients on our table. We don’t

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    Regards,
    Moroni Lorenzo
    Skype:lorenzo.moroni92

  9. familyvacationcritic.com / Mar 1 2014 5:32 am

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  10. jduane076 / May 9 2014 10:51 am

    We offer fresh cut bank instrument for lease/sale, such as BG, SBLC, MTN, Bank Bonds, Bank Draft, T strips and other. Leased Instruments can be obtained at minimal expense to the borrower compared to other banking options and we also discount/monetize BG’s.
    This offer is open to both individuals and corporate bodies.
    If in need of our services, contact me for detail information.
    Thank you,
    Mr.Joe Duane
    email:jduane076@gmail.com
    Joeduane@consultant.com

  11. Mr.Thomas Edward / Nov 12 2014 5:36 am

    Dear Sir/Ma

    I am direct to a project Funder who is also known as private lender they specialized in bank instrument lease and sales their funds is purely earned from private and corporate investment portfolios without criminal origin.With the group capital fund which are specifically for lease/sale in form of bank instrument. The Financial institution can finance your signatory projects such as Real Estate Development, Aviation Service, Agriculture Finance, Petroleum Importation, Telecommunication, construction of Dams or Bridges and all kind of projects.

    The bank instrument can be use for purchase of goods from any manufacturer irrespective of their location. It can also serve as collateral with any bank in the world to secure loan for your project or to establish line of credit with your bank. We offer Bank Guarantee , all are issue from AAA Rated bank such as Deutsche Bank, HSBC Bank, UBS Zurich, Barclay’s Bank , Standard Chartered Bank E.T.C. For more information, Endeavour to contact me as your convenient time.

    DESCRIPTION OF INSTRUMENTS:
    1. Instrument: Bank Guarantee (BG/SBLC)
    2. Total Face Value: Min of 1M Euro/USD (One Million Euro/USD) to Max of 5B Euro/USD (Five Billion Euro/USD).
    3. Issuing Bank: HSBC, London or Deutsche Bank Frankfurt or any Top 25 WEB
    4. Age: One Year, One Day
    5. Leasing Price: 5.0% of Face Value plus (0.5+X)% commission fees to brokers.
    6. Delivery: Bank to Bank SWIFT.
    7. Payment: MT-103.
    8. Hard Copy: Bonded Courier within 7 banking days.

    Regards

    Mr.Thomas Edward
    Email: thomas_edward80@yahoo.com

    Intermediaries/Consultants/Brokers are welcome to bring their clients and are 100% protected. In complete confidence, we will work together for the benefits of all parties involved.

  12. Besik / Dec 4 2014 7:54 pm

    Dear Sir/Ma,

    We have direct providers of Fresh Cut BG, SBLC and MTN which are specifically for lease. Our bank instrument can be engaged in PPP Trading, Discounting, Signature Project(s) such as Aviation, Agriculture, Petroleum, Telecommunication, Construction of Dams, Bridges, Real Estate and all kind of projects. We do not have any broker chain in our offer neither do we get involved in chauffer driven offers. We deliver with time and precision as set forth in our agreement. Our terms and Conditions are reasonable, below is our instrument description.

    DESCRIPTION OF INSTRUMENTS:
    1. Instrument: Bank Guarantee (BG/SBLC)
    2. Total Face Value: Min of 1M Euro/USD (One Million Euro/USD) to Max of 5B Euro/USD (Five Billion Euro/USD).
    3. Issuing Bank: HSBC, London or Deutsche Bank Frankfurt or any Top 25 WEB
    4. Age: One Year, One Day
    5. Leasing Price: 5.0% of Face Value plus (0.5+X)% commission fees to brokers.
    6. Delivery: Bank to Bank SWIFT.
    7. Payment: MT-103.
    8. Hard Copy: Bonded Courier within 7 banking days.

    All relevant business information will be provided upon request.

    If Interested kindly contact me via Email:~ financialdraft55@gmail.com
    Skype ID: besik.katsitadze

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