Citigroup Inc. is considered to be one of America's "Big Four" banks, the others being Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. With more than 16,000 offices in over 140 countries, Citigroup has around 300,000 employees worldwide and holds over 200 million customer accounts.
Formed in October 1998 by a $140 billion merger of Travelers Group and Citicorp, Citigroup is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange and Paraguay’s Bolsa de Valores y Productos de Asunción. Intervention by the US government during the financial crisis of 2008/2009, averted to some extent, the far-reaching consequences that failure of this giant financial institution would have brought about. The 36% equity stake the government took in the company did, however, result in Citigroup being removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average on June 8, 2009.
Citigroup’s brands include Citi, Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, CitiInsurance, Citi Alternative Investments, Citi Cards, Citi Private Bank, Citi Microfinance, Banamex, Primerica, and Women & Co. This diversified range of products is in keeping with the company’s goals of creating a financial services company capable of delivering comprehensive solutions to clients worldwide.
As stated on their website, Citigroup’s Code of Conduct supports the belief that “maintaining ethical standards is critical to maintaining world-class business standards.” Further reinforcing this stance, its Corporate Governance Mission states that “Citigroup Inc. aspires to the highest standards of ethical conduct: doing what we say; reporting results with accuracy and transparency; and maintaining full compliance with the laws, rules and regulations that govern the Company’s businesses.”
While Citigroup has come under criticism for some irregular dealings, such as the Terra Securities scandal in November 2007, and the accusation of theft from cardholders’ accounts in August 2008, it is nonetheless considered to be a worthwhile investment and is incorporated in many stock market investor portfolios.