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Public Meeting Transcripts

Public Meeting Regarding Citicorp and Travelers Group

Thursday, June 25, 1998

Transcript of Panel One

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   2               MR. LONEY:  Because some of the

   3     people on the panel scheduled to testify next

   4     are not here, we are going to call people from

   5     both Panel One and Panel Two at this time.

   6               If David Nocenti, Robert Elliot,

   7     Stephen Kaufman, Dannel Malloy and Nellie

   8     Santiago-Fernandez could come up, I would

   9     appreciate it.

  10               I will follow the order that is in

  11     the agenda that we sent out.  In doing that, I

  12     will ask Ms. Santiago-Fernandez, who is the

  13     senator from New York State, to begin.

  14               MS. SANTIAGO-FERNANDEZ:  Good

  15     morning.  Thank you very much.

  16               I am speaking today in favor of the

  17     proposed conversion of Travelers Group into a

  18     bank holding company, its acquisition of

  19     Citicorp and the request for an exemption from

  20     divestiture of assets under Section 1842 of the

  21     Bank Holding Company Act.

  22               I am speaking in both my capacity as

  23     an elected official, representing a very poor

  24     community in Brooklyn served by Citibank, as

  25     well as a ranking member of the State Senate



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   2     Banking Committee and as chair of the Senate

   3     Democratic Task Force on Banking and Community

   4     Reinvestment.

   5               This is a merger of truly historic

   6     significance.  For years, as financial

   7     modernization has been debated in Washington

   8     and in the states, we have heard of these new

   9     all-purpose, one-stop-shopping financial

  10     services corporations which would be emerging.

  11     Now for the first time we have seen one.

  12               This question which must be asked is

  13     if permitting the birth of this particular

  14     prototype is in the best interest of financial

  15     consumers.  I strongly believe that the answer

  16     to this question is yes.

  17               In considering what this new entity

  18     can do, I started by considering what Citibank

  19     already has done.

  20               Citibank maintains several branches

  21     in my own senatorial district.  Through these

  22     branches, the bank not only provides a wide

  23     range of basic financial services to my

  24     constituents, but also a variety of educational

  25     services to help consumers get the most out of



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   2     their money.  These include both training

   3     courses on how to use the latest innovations in

   4     computer-banking technology and small business

   5     lending seminars targeted to the needs of

   6     low-income neighborhoods.

   7               It is through these same branches

   8     which the new Citigroup will be able to offer

   9     my constituents and people all over New York

  10     City not fewer banking services, as some might

  11     say, but an extended menu of insurance products

  12     through their association with Travelers.

  13     While some condemn Citibank for branch

  14     closings, I have a positive story to tell.

  15               Two years ago Citibank proposed the

  16     closing of a branch in my own district.  My

  17     district, as I mentioned, is a low-income

  18     neighborhood largely underserved by any other

  19     financial institution.  I and members of my

  20     community appealed to the sensitivity of the

  21     bank to preserve this branch, and I am proud to

  22     say that the branch is open today.

  23               Looking beyond Brooklyn to the larger

  24     picture, Citibank has been a rising leader in

  25     providing home mortgage loans to minorities.



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   2     The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data from 1990

   3     to 1996 shows that the mortgage loan denial

   4     rates for minorities nationwide has

   5     consistently fallen, meaning more Hispanics and

   6     African-Americans are having mortgage

   7     applications approved at a greater rate than

   8     ever before.

   9               Citibank has also been a national

  10     leader in providing support for building a

  11     self-sustaining community development

  12     infrastructure by providing grants and special

  13     low interest loans for local organizations

  14     specializing in economic development.  Nearly

  15     all of the CBOs in my district have benefitted

  16     from this help, providing us with long-term

  17     stability in the community.

  18               Citibank even pioneered an extremely

  19     innovative form of support for community

  20     not-for-profit financial institutions with its

  21     Equity Equivalent Program, which enables

  22     community development financial institutions to

  23     strengthen their balance sheet's very long term

  24     and very substantiated debt.

  25               It is through all of these activities



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   2     that the New York City bank has maintained a

   3     satisfactory overall CRA rating with an

   4     outstanding rating in community development.

   5               The new Citigroup gives every

   6     indication that this high level of support will

   7     continue but be greatly enhanced by this

   8     merger.

   9               Citigroup's community reinvestment

  10     pledge of $150 billion represents an amount

  11     twice the bank's current domestic deposits; a

  12     considerable commitment.  But it is not the

  13     sheer quantity of money which should receive

  14     the most attention.

  15               Citigroup's proposed program on

  16     financial and technological literacy is a very

  17     forward-thinking initiative design to help

  18     teach young people how to take the widest

  19     advantage of the possibilities offered by

  20     computer banking.  The program will help

  21     prepare consumers for the realities of banking

  22     in the 21st century.

  23               Another new program, one more

  24     immediately beneficial to low-income

  25     communities, is their Proposed Center for



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   2     Community Development Enterprise.  This

   3     subsidiary will be making loans and providing

   4     technical support to community development

   5     organizations to provide them with the tools,

   6     resources, and knowledge they need to build

   7     their own economic development programs.  This,

   8     I believe, helps bring about true community

   9     empowerment.

  10               Finally, I have worked on the CRA

  11     issue for many years now and I want to remind

  12     everyone how historic the commitment made by

  13     Citigroup is, especially from the Travelers

  14     side.

  15               Travelers has promised to make a wide

  16     variety of insurance products available in

  17     low-income communities utilizing the extensive

  18     Citibank branch network.  What this will mean

  19     is more insurance products will be made

  20     available to more people in low-income

  21     communities.  This is a very significant move.

  22               The CRA requires Citibank to invest a

  23     portion of its assets in the communities it

  24     accepts deposits from, including poor

  25     communities.  However, there is no similar law



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   2     which binds insurance companies.

   3               While financial modernization

   4     legislation may ultimately include such

   5     provisions, Travelers has boldly decided to

   6     voluntarily target insurance products to poor

   7     neighborhoods, to poor communities, products

   8     designed specifically to meet their needs.  I

   9     believe that this historic commitment has set a

  10     standard by which future cost industry

  11     financial mergers should be judged.

  12               In closing, let me once again state

  13     that I support this merger.  It represents a

  14     natural trend in the financial marketplace and

  15     has a vast potential to benefit all financial

  16     consumers, poor and otherwise.

  17               Thank you very much.

  18               MR. LONEY:  Thank you.

  19               Mr. Nocenti.

  20               MR. NOCENTI:  Good morning, Officer

  21     Loney, Mr. Alvarez, Mr. Hodgetts,

  22     Superintendent McCaul.  My name is David

  23     Nocenti, and I am the counsel from the Office

  24     of Queens Borough President Clair Shulman.  I

  25     want to thank you for giving us the opportunity



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   2     to provide our comments this morning.

   3               The proposed merger of the Travelers

   4     Group and Citicorp raises many complex legal,

   5     financial, regulatory, and competitive issues,

   6     and I know that you are going to be hearing

   7     comments from both sides on many of these

   8     issues today.

   9               Our expertise does not lie in the

  10     analysis of competition or the impact of

  11     mergers on markets and so our testimony is

  12     going to be limited to your request for

  13     information regarding the impact of the merger

  14     on the convenience and needs of the community.

  15               Specifically, the Queens Borough

  16     President's Office has worked very closely with

  17     Citibank on numerous issues during the past ten

  18     years, and we will provide some background on

  19     Citibank's community activities in Queens.

  20               Citibank has always been responsive

  21     to the needs of our local residents, and this

  22     history of cooperation and assistance should be

  23     given strong consideration as you evaluate the

  24     benefits of the merger.

  25               Queens County geographically is the



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   2     largest borough in the City of New York and is

   3     also the second most populous with almost 2

   4     million residents.  If Queens County were a

   5     separate city, we would be the fourth largest

   6     city in the United States behind New York, Los

   7     Angeles and Chicago.

   8               Queens is also the most ethnically

   9     and culturally diverse county in the world with

  10     Kennedy Airport serving as the new Ellis Island

  11     for the past 50 years.  Queens County is the

  12     first stopping point for immigrants all over

  13     the globe.  Over 35 percent of Queens residents

  14     were born outside the United States and they

  15     come from over 150 countries and speak over 120

  16     languages.

  17               Queens is primarily a working-class

  18     borough.  We do not have the conspicuous wealth

  19     of Manhattan, and we have the specific needs,

  20     economic needs, as in all areas of New York

  21     City.  There is a tremendous need for

  22     affordable housing in Queens, and we also have

  23     some of the most overcrowded schools in the

  24     country.

  25               The borough president is the highest



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   2     elected official in Queens, and as a result our

   3     office is involved in economic development,

   4     housing, education and community projects

   5     throughout the borough.

   6               We work very closely with our

   7     financial institutions and other private

   8     businesses and, thus, are uniquely qualified to

   9     evaluate the civic participation of these

  10     private entities.

  11               Citibank has been one of the most

  12     active and effective businesses working towards

  13     improvements in the borough of Queens.  In the

  14     area of economic development, Citibank has

  15     provided important assistance to small

  16     businesses throughout the borough.  They have

  17     worked closely with the Queens County Overall

  18     Economic Development Corporation, the Greater

  19     Jamaica Development Corporation, the Jamaica

  20     Business Resource Center, the Rockaway

  21     Development and Revitalization Corporation, and

  22     many other local community development

  23     entities.

  24               Citibank has provided project grants,

  25     has offered technical assistance and has led



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   2     the way to helping these organizations and

   3     other small businesses to develop and grow in

   4     Queens County.

   5               Citibank has also been a leader in

   6     the area of housing development.  As previously

   7     noted, Queens County has a great need for more

   8     affordable housing, and Citibank has provided

   9     the financing necessary for many such projects.

  10     Our office has undertaken major efforts to spur

  11     the creation of more low-income and

  12     moderate-income housing in Jamaica, the

  13     Rockaways, and elsewhere in the borough, and

  14     Citibank has provided invaluable financial and

  15     technical assistance in this effort.

  16               Although there are many one-family

  17     and two-family homes in Queens, in other areas

  18     of the borough the predominate housing stock is

  19     apartment buildings.  In the early 1980s, many

  20     buildings converted from rental units to

  21     cooperative ownership, and these co-ops became

  22     the only available form of home ownership for

  23     many residents in the area.

  24               Unfortunately, the New York City real

  25     estate market collapsed in the late 1980s.  It



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   2     left many of these co-ops with serious

   3     financial problems.  Virtually every bank had

   4     lent funds based on overvaluations of the

   5     properties, and most of these financial

   6     institutions simply stopped lending any money

   7     for these co-ops, leaving tens of thousands of

   8     apartment owners stranded in apartments they

   9     could not sell.

  10               The Queens Borough President's Office

  11     immediately formed a Co-op and Condo Task

  12     Force, comprised of building owners, lending

  13     institutions, apartment owners, government

  14     agencies, and others, to address the problems.

  15               Working with Fannie Mae and Freddie

  16     Mac, we brought the necessary parties together

  17     and achieved work-outs that allowed the co-ops

  18     to avoid defaulting on their loans.  Although

  19     several financial institutions chose not to

  20     participate in this collaborative effort,

  21     Citibank was an integral player in the process

  22     and helped us to save the homes of tens of

  23     thousands of individuals.

  24               In addition to its active role in

  25     economic development housing, Citibank has also



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   2     been a good corporate citizen working closely

   3     with not-for-profit groups throughout Queens

   4     County.  Indeed, Citibank was instrumental in

   5     saving several financially-troubled

   6     organizations, included in the Jamaica Arts

   7     Center and the Queens Symphony Orchestra.

   8               Citibank provides technical and

   9     financial assistance to many community groups

  10     and cosponsors many events held in the borough.

  11     In addition, for the past several years

  12     Citibank has sponsored a bus tour for

  13     foundations and other charitable organizations

  14     which has helped our Queens group to access

  15     additional funding sources that traditionally

  16     have been providing grants only to

  17     Manhattan-based organizations.

  18               Citibank is also very active in

  19     education issues.  Citibank has formed

  20     partnerships with several New York City

  21     elementary schools.  They work closely with the

  22     City University of New York and St. John's, and

  23     Citibank employees act as mentors to individual

  24     students.

  25               Moreover, a Citibank employee was



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   2     recently named as the borough president's

   3     appointee to the seven-member New York City

   4     Board of Education, which is responsible for

   5     overseeing the education of over 1 million

   6     school children in New York City.

   7               Finally, it is important to note that

   8     Citibank is one of the largest employers in

   9     Queens County with over 3,500 employees in the

  10     borough.  The construction of the Citibank

  11     Tower, which opened in 1990, helped to initiate

  12     a revitalization of the Court Square area, and

  13     they have provided funding for amenities above

  14     and beyond what were initially requested of

  15     them.

  16               In sum, the Borough President's

  17     Office has had a close working relationship

  18     with Citibank for many years, and we have found

  19     them to be excellent corporate citizens.  They

  20     are very responsive to the needs of the

  21     community.  They have been eager to join in

  22     public-private partnerships and have provided

  23     tremendous financial and technical assistance

  24     which has helped us to revitalize significant

  25     areas of the borough.



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   2               Thank you once again for providing

   3     this opportunity to testify today, and we hope

   4     that the Federal Reserve Board's evaluation of

   5     the benefits of this merger will include

   6     consideration of Citibank's long history of

   7     working to assist and improve businesses,

   8     housing, education and cultural institutions

   9     throughout Queens County.

  10               MR. LONEY:  Thank you.

  11               Mayor Malloy.

  12               MR. MALLOY:  I am Mayor Dannel

  13     Malloy.  I'd like to begin by thanking you for

  14     the opportunity, as the Mayor of Stamford,

  15     Connecticut, to testify on behalf of Citibank.

  16               Stamford is the Connecticut

  17     headquarters for Citibank.  Since the bank

  18     opened its first of seven branches only four

  19     years ago, I have been impressed with the

  20     bank's commitment to be a major community force

  21     in Stamford and within the State of

  22     Connecticut.

  23               As the Mayor of the fourth largest

  24     city in Connecticut, with the third largest

  25     concentration of Fortune 500 corporate



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   2     headquarters in the country, I know firsthand

   3     that corporate partners like Citibank are vital

   4     to continued urban growth.

   5               If such Citibank current activities

   6     are a reflection of broader available resources

   7     that result from the Citicorp/Travelers Group

   8     merger, then I can only look forward to

   9     stronger partnerships with the proposed

  10     Citigroup in Stamford and throughout the state.

  11               To illustrate the depth of the bank's

  12     commitment to the community, I would like to

  13     highlight three key areas of creative

  14     initiatives that Citibank has led.

  15               First of all, I'd like to speak about

  16     education.  Citibank and the City of Stamford

  17     share a personal commitment to the excellence

  18     of public education for children of all ages.

  19     Citibank has partnered to spearhead two

  20     Stamford school readiness programs.  These

  21     programs promise that all Stamford children

  22     will have an opportunity to be ready to learn

  23     before entering school.

  24               The initiatives are the Hillandale

  25     Child Development Center.  This will be the



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   2     first program in the State of Connecticut to

   3     fully integrate state-of-the-art learning

   4     strategies with health, nutrition, and

   5     parenting modules in a childcare environment

   6     for preschool children.  In fact, the City of

   7     Stamford will guarantee all of its 4-year-olds

   8     pre-K experience, that is, prior to the time

   9     they would enter our kindergarten.

  10               Secondly, Success By 6.  Citibank is

  11     a key member of the Leadership Council.

  12     Success By 6 will ensure that all children

  13     entering kindergarten do, in fact, enter with

  14     the foundation needed to prepare them to

  15     succeed in school.

  16               In addition to the above educational

  17     activities, Citibank has adopted the Hart

  18     Magnet School Read-A-Loud program; received

  19     major awards for junior achievement of

  20     Southwestern Connecticut in connection with

  21     their educational activities; funded Connect

  22     '96, which established Internet access for both

  23     of our high schools in Stamford; and developed

  24     and implemented a summer associate program with

  25     The Urban League of Southwestern Connecticut,



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   2     which is based in Stamford.

   3               The second key area is human and

   4     social services.  Citibank helped plan and fund

   5     with the City of Stamford United Way and

   6     Infoline, the Infoline Referral Center.  The

   7     center is a unique staffed storefront operation

   8     offering community agency information, access

   9     to caseworker services and job shopping through

  10     a Department of Labor kiosk.

  11               The referral center is the result of

  12     the partners concern that people moving from

  13     welfare to work needed a place to connect with

  14     local, regional and statewide agencies that can

  15     help them become self-sufficient.

  16               Secondly, Cheryl Adkins Green,

  17     Citibank F.S.B. president, will serve as the

  18     chair of the United Way of Stamford, 1998-99

  19     fund-raising campaign, which will raise over 2

  20     million for local agencies.  This is another

  21     example of the personal commitment Citibank

  22     senior management demonstrates in our community

  23     every single day.

  24               The third key area, access to credit

  25     for low- and moderate-income areas and



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   2     household.  Citibank is an active lender in all

   3     Stamford neighborhoods.  The bank has made

   4     substantial inroads in the enterprise zone with

   5     small business loans to help retain jobs and

   6     help businesses grow.

   7               Additionally, the leadership of the

   8     community development loan program is

   9     well-recognized.  The bank became a pacesetter

  10     two years ago for new Connecticut banks, which

  11     it committed $1 million to the Housing

  12     Development Fund for affordable housing in the

  13     city and directed more than $2 million in

  14     community development investments to

  15     Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Stamford.

  16               Citibank loans have extended to

  17     statewide initiatives, including a $2 million

  18     loan for the Connecticut Preservation Loan Fund

  19     and an approval to fund $3 million for a

  20     childcare loan fund this month.

  21               Citibank knows that money alone

  22     cannot build neighborhoods.  Therefore, in 1995

  23     the bank helped establish the Fairfield County

  24     Local Initiative Support Corporation office,

  25     located in Bridgeport, and serving all of the



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   2     state, in particular Fairfield County and the

   3     City of Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford.

   4               I would like to conclude my testimony

   5     with the benefits of the proposed merger for

   6     the community of Stamford and the State of

   7     Connecticut.

   8               Unlike the traditional in-market bank

   9     merger that I have seen in Connecticut, where

  10     physical locations overlap and savings are

  11     achieved by consolidation, the formation of

  12     Citigroup is different.  The merger will not

  13     eliminate available resources as other mergers

  14     have; rather, the combination will greatly

  15     increase the value and convenience for

  16     customers through offering access to a broader

  17     range of high-quality financial services and

  18     products, all from one convenient location in

  19     Stamford and other Connecticut locations.

  20               Additionally, the wide range of

  21     products and services offered by the combined

  22     company will add breath and depth to the career

  23     opportunities in Connecticut.  The stronger

  24     company will mean more jobs to my community.

  25               As I stated at the beginning of my



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   2     testimony, I believe that the merger of

   3     Citicorp and Travelers Group will only enhance

   4     the bank's deep commitment of human and

   5     financial capital to the City of Stamford and

   6     to the State of Connecticut.

   7               Thank you.

   8               MR. LONEY:  Thank you.

   9               Assemblyman Kaufman.

  10               MR. KAUFMAN:  Good morning.  I am

  11     Assemblyman Steve Kaufman.  I represent the

  12     82nd Assembly District in the Bronx, which

  13     includes Co-op City, Throgs Neck, Westchester

  14     Square and Eastchester Gardens.

  15               I am here today to tell you that

  16     Citibank has demonstrated again and again its

  17     commitment to the social and economic

  18     well-being of the Bronx, and as the borough

  19     undergoes a renaissance in many of its

  20     neighborhoods, Citibank has been there to play

  21     a major role.

  22               Citibank has focused its resources,

  23     technical assistance, leadership, and grants to

  24     foster the business development, home

  25     ownership, comprehensive economic development



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   2     and educational programs to school children,

   3     high school students, and college students, as

   4     well as welfare-to-work participants.

   5               Citibank fervently seeks to ensure

   6     that the unique needs of senior citizens are

   7     not only met, but also exceeded through

   8     superior service and customer satisfaction.  In

   9     fact, Citibank's work with legislators like

  10     myself and community leaders have led to

  11     innovative and creative initiatives that have

  12     resulted in safer, more convenient alternatives

  13     to accomplish their banking.

  14               For example, while responding to the

  15     need for greater education around direct

  16     deposit and familiarity with using the phone

  17     for banking, Citibank also discovered and

  18     responded to the need for transportation

  19     services and protection against con games.

  20               In response to concerns expressed by

  21     seniors in the Pelham Manor/Co-op City area,

  22     Citibank offered to present its consumer

  23     education series to seniors on a range of

  24     issues from how to use ATMs and PC Banking; how

  25     to access basic checking; how to call into its



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   2     phone service and speak with a representative;

   3     and how to protect themselves from con games.

   4               Citibank consumer educators worked

   5     one-on-one with seniors to teach them what to

   6     watch for and how to protect themselves.

   7               Through the consumer education

   8     program, Citibank has also worked one-on-one

   9     with senior citizens who travel to Puerto Rico

  10     and Florida.

  11               Many seniors were not aware that

  12     Citibank offers free bill payment service

  13     through its 1-800 service line.  In one

  14     instance, a senior was able to avoid surcharges

  15     on her rent when she was in Puerto Rico by

  16     having Citibank pay her bills.

  17               Overall, Citibank consumer educators

  18     have conducted over 600 seminars in English and

  19     Spanish, 20 percent of which were conducted in

  20     the Bronx in senior citizen centers, schools,

  21     hospital and locals businesses.

  22               Beyond the bricks and mortar of its

  23     branches, however, Citibank uses the strength

  24     of its human resources to invest time,

  25     leadership, and technical assistance to



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   2     community groups and residents.

   3               In my own district, Citibank's staff

   4     has volunteered for the 45th precinct Night Out

   5     Against Crime, and other health fairs in Co-op

   6     City and Throgs Neck, assisting the creation of

   7     KidCare ID cards for hundreds of area school

   8     children.  Citibank has also cosponsored with

   9     me a wonderful bus trip for senior citizens who

  10     are brought to an all-day picnic and barbecue

  11     in Sunken Meadow Park.

  12               As another example of Citibank's

  13     responsiveness, the staff at the Castle Hill

  14     Avenue branch found out that I was sponsoring

  15     the city teddy bear drive for physically and

  16     emotionally abused children who were brought

  17     into Montefiore Child Protection Center and

  18     immediately took up my cause and collected over

  19     200 teddy bears for these children.  These are

  20     the kind of wonderful people that are the

  21     backbone of this institution.

  22               Citibank has worked hand-in-hand with

  23     many community associations in my district on

  24     numerous different issues.  Citibank has also

  25     participated in Read Aloud programs in schools



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   2     in my district and has also taken part in a

   3     clothing drive for people making the transition

   4     from welfare to work.  In my community,

   5     Citibank has surely made a difference.

   6               In the Bronx last year, through its

   7     Partnership In Progress program, Citibank

   8     committed 150,000 to the three creative and

   9     innovative community development corporations

  10     for the creation of affordable housing,

  11     commercial stores and community revitalization.

  12               In conclusion, for 25 years Citibank

  13     has had a long-standing commitment to improving

  14     the quality of life in the communities it

  15     serves.  It is clear from these activities in

  16     my assembly district and also those throughout

  17     the Bronx that Citibank demonstrates its pledge

  18     to CRA by providing access to the highest

  19     quality financial services and products, making

  20     them available to everyone regardless of where

  21     they live and how much they earn.

  22               I look forward to continuing my

  23     office's participation with Citibank to effect

  24     positive change in the Bronx.

  25               MR. LONEY:  Thank you.



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   2               Mayor Robert Elliot.

   3               MR. ELLIOT:  I would like to briefly

   4     add my comments with respect to Citibank's

   5     community development activities.

   6               I am Bob Elliot and Mayor of

   7     Croton-on-Hudson; until a few weeks ago,

   8     president of New York Conference on Mayors.  I

   9     am here as the chairman of an eleven-community

  10     organization known as Historic River Town.

  11               Historic River Town is a

  12     representable eleven communities, extending

  13     from the New York City border northward nearly

  14     50 miles, from the City of Yonkers to the City

  15     of Peekskill, representing a population of

  16     nearly a quarter of a million people.

  17               A number of years ago, these

  18     communities came together in the midst of a

  19     severe recession to address economic problems.

  20     We couldn't wait for the state or the federal

  21     government to help us wrestle with these

  22     problems, particularly with the limited

  23     resources that we had.  We were wrestling with

  24     a recession unlike no other that we had

  25     encountered in the past.  We had both blue



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   2     collar workers and white collar workers out of

   3     work, facilities such as GM closing, and IBM

   4     downsizing, affecting our community.  We needed

   5     to build on what we had, address our downtown

   6     and mainstream problems, and our focus became

   7     tourism.

   8               Beneath this was the broader economic

   9     development and the regional planning, and we

  10     formed Interest Municipal Agreement, a

  11     nonprofit organization, and a number of

  12     public-private partnerships which have now

  13     become models for other areas throughout the

  14     State of New York.

  15               From the very beginning, Citibank's

  16     community development division understood what

  17     we were doing.  They grasped the concept when

  18     no others did.  They understood the

  19     complexities and the interdependencies of our

  20     economy, with such issues as transportation and

  21     housing as relates to the environment and

  22     relates to our community.

  23               Citibank's assistance extended way

  24     beyond the grants for a number of programs,

  25     programs which involved a number of the area



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   2     branches, programs which involved community

   3     planning, community meetings and several

   4     planning conferences which, for example, last

   5     week ended up at a planning conference using a

   6     bottom-up process where we laid out nearly 50

   7     miles of waterfront development plans along the

   8     Hudson River coastline, Westchester County.

   9     More important was the expertise and technical

  10     assistance that Citibank gave us and,

  11     particularly, the high standard to which they

  12     have held us, a standard to which we are still

  13     trying to reach.

  14               Citibank's community development

  15     efforts made a tremendous difference in our

  16     eleven communities and a significant difference

  17     in the Hudson Valley.

  18               I thank you for the opportunity to

  19     testify this morning.

  20               MR. LONEY:  Thank you.

  21               Are there any questions for the


  22     panel?  Thank you very much.

Last update: December 3, 2010