Iloilo, Philippines Branch of Citibank Savings Closes

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Citibank Savings Branch in Iloilo City, Philippines

Citibank Savings Branch in Iloilo City, Philippines

Citibank announced that it will close it’s Iloilo, Philippines branch as of February 4, 2009.  The branch was opened to great fanfare in 2006.  See http://www.thenewstoday.info/2006/11/17/citibank.savings.inc.launching.html

Citibank Savings customers were invited to transfer their accounts to the Citibank Savings branch in Bacolod City which will remain open.

This is another in a series of blows to international banking in Iloilo City and in Iloilo’s rivalry with Bacolod City.  In 1982 Iloilo lost its HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) branch which had opened in 1883 to serve the growing sugar industry. Standard Chartered (formerly Chartered Bank of India, China and Australia) also open an Iloilo City branch.  Later, Standard Chartered sold its Iloilo branch to Allied Bank and exited the city. With the closing of Citibank, Malaysian-owned Maybank is the last remaining foreign-owned bank in Iloilo City.

Citibank’s history in the Philippines dates back to 1902 when the International Banking Corporation established a branch in Manila, followed by another branch in Cebu in 1904. National City Bank of New York, the biggest bank in the US at the time, took over IBC in 1914. Subsequently the bank became Citibank, Citicorp and Citigroup. Today, Citibank, N.A. is the largest foreign commercial bank in the Philippines in terms of customers, assets, revenues, employees and number of domestic branches. (adapted from from Citibank Philippines website).

If you’re interested in the history and politics of banking in the Philippines, I highly recommend this book: Booty Capitalism: the Politics of Banking in the Philippines, Paul D. Hutchroft, Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1998.  I bought my copy in Manila, either at Powerbooks or the Filipinas Heritage Library bookstore at the Ayala Triangle Park.

Links:

http://www.hsbc.com.ph/1/2/aboutus
http://www.citigroup.com/citi/corporate/history/citibank.htm
http://www.standardchartered.com/about-us/history/en/

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