Citibank Branch Closings May Provide Local Opportunities
By David Guidi and Margie Manning, Staff Intern and Senior Staff Writer
Friday, February 22, 2008


Citibank's decision to shut down four retail branches in the Tampa Bay area is good news for community banks, according to a banking consultant.

The branches are in attractive markets, and "I guarantee there will be some interest," said Ken Thomas, a Miami-based consultant with

Citibank is closing offices in Valrico, Citrus Park, Brandon and Carrollwood. The offices were opened between January and May 2007, but Citbank had trouble gaining traction in the Tampa Bay market with less than $10 million in deposits as of June 30, according to the most recent information available from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

"In order to provide the best service to the market, we would need to greatly expand our branch coverage," a bank spokesman told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. "We believe that divesting these branches and devoting our resources to other opportunities and locations is the best course for our company, our employees and our shareholders at this time."

Citibank's parent company, Citigroup (NYSE: C), has sustained losses in the subprime markets that led to retrenchment, Thomas said.

Citigroup also is planning to close retail branches and consumer finance operations in Asia, Europe and Latin America, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Citigroup has significant back office operations in Florida; as of last year, there were 12,000 Citigroup employees statewide, split between Tampa, Jacksonville and south Florida. | 813.342.2463 | 813.342.2473
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