Bank helping clients continue to operate
Citibank (China) Co Ltd, or Citi China, has adopted a number of measures to support clients in urgent financial need and to ensure they can continue to operate normally during the ongoing epidemic.
"We have maintained close communication with regulators and clients and provided support to meet clients' urgent needs,” said Christine Lam, president and CEO of Citi China. “With the gradual resumption of work in various industries, Citi is fully prepared to meet the growth in business demand.”
The bank’s corporate clients are from a wide range of industries, including pharmaceutical and medical procurement companies.
A pharmaceutical client responsible for transporting medical resources to frontline hospitals anticipated liquidity difficulties due to a cash flow shortage. Citi China lowered its loan interest rate and reserved priority funds for withdrawal. Knowing that some of the client’s staff were in quarantine, the bank optimized the withdrawal process to ensure the readiness of funds to purchase virus-related materials as soon as possible.
Citi China teams have also been ensuring that clients are able to continue allocating their global cash pool efficiently and on time during this period, so that they can bring passengers home and deliver supplies.
Leveraging Citibank’s global network platform, the China team, in collaboration with the New York headquarters, Singapore and Citi’s teams in other locations have been working together to support clients.
On February 1, Citi China received an urgent inquiry from a Chinese bank about a remittance sent to Citi Hong Kong on the night of January 31 via Citi New York. The money was used to purchase anti-epidemic materials such as masks, amounting to more than US$330,000. However, Citi China was notified by the sender shortly after the transfer had been made that the money needed to be called back because the supplier was unable to complete the order. Citi China urgently contacted Citi Hong Kong for assistance during the weekend to lock in the remittance which provided the possibility to quickly withdraw the money.
Citi China has also been utilizing its advantage in products and services to help clients onshore and offshore with their liquidity management needs.
In addition, Citibank has developed a telephone bank redemption process for customers to trade local securities investment funds during the Spring Festival. Its retail team also worked with WeDoctor, a network supported by more than 19,000 doctors, to provide online medical and health consultation related to COVID-19 to staff and customers.
The bank has pout precautionary measures and benefits in place to help safeguard employees and their families, with contingency plans in place to ensure continuity of business. It has also announced a donation of US$250,000 and established channels for its employees and clients around the world to make donations.