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Citi's UK Private Bank Puts the Record Straight

Stephen Harris

14 July 2008

A UK press report implying that the London operation of Citi Private Bank has ceased taking on new expat customers in the UK because of concerns over its money laundering procedures have been rubbished by the bank.

Last Friday, City AM, a free newspaper distributed on the London Underground, wrongly identified the UK private banking operation as being the subject of an embargo on new accounts.

A spokeswomen for Citi told WealthBriefing: "The article incorrectly refers to the Private Bank as the business in question, which is completely untrue. We are taking a short pause to new accounts in a small part of our consumer business in the UK."

A corrected version of the story on the City AM website claims to have seen a leaked internal document showing that the Citibank International Personal Bank last week barred its staff from opening new accounts after an internal review found its anti-money laundering system required "urgent focus".

The story goes on to say that IPB has been in discussions with the Financial Services Authority and will provide the regulator with weekly updates until it is resolved. The FSA will also appoint an independent third party to review systems, according to the story.