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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bye Bye Citibank

So Citigroup may fall prey to the international banking crisis and the credit crunch.

When central Lewisham's only office tower block opened in the late 1970s, Citibank, as it then was, moved in. Soon after I had central heating installed, and the contractor set me up with credit with Citibank, though the account was not handled at this building.

Citibank Building, Lewisham
The central heating boiler was crap, and kept breaking down. The contractor went bust, and it fell to the credit agency (ie. Citibank) to get it fixed.
When it got to be a once-a-fortnight problem, I really couldn't afford the time, and I couldn't imagine Citibank wanted to keep footing the bill, so I suggested they might have it replaced. To emphasise the point, I stopped making payments. They sent an engineer round to assess it, agreeing to abide by his findings. He found four faults right there, with every expectation of finding more when it was examined in a workshop. He recommended replacement.
The day I received his report, I also received a court summons from Citibank for non-payment of the loan.
One phone call later, a very apologetic Citibank employee withdrew the summons. My boiler was replaced. I beat Citibank!
As soon as the boiler was replaced, I paid off the loan in full.
This is what the office block looks like now. The Citibank sign is gone.
Former Citibank building

The business moved to Canary Wharf, the new financial centre of London.
Looks attractive, doesn't it?
Don't be fooled. The reflection is serendipitous. It's an ugly concrete jungle.
Canary Wharf
They still have the lease on the Lewisham building, however. It sits there empty, waiting for them to need it again in the event that Canary Wharf should succumb to a terrorist attack.
If the group goes bust, we might get out building back!

6 comments:

Tricia972 said...

I HATE Citibank! They just took over my bank and they're charging 29% interest!!! Overall, I'd say they suck!
I know how you feel about the concrete jungle, but I bet that view is beautiful with the reflection all lit up at night.

Music Wench said...

Lots of people on this side of the pond are panicked and it's not pretty. As I said about AIG and the bank bailout and the auto industry bailout, let them go bust. We will suffer for it but that's what happens when you mismanage your business.

The big three U.S. automakers want to be bailed out. Please. They flew to Washington in their private corporate jets and showed no sense of changing the way they do business. They had no plan to show that they would be responsible and really, it would be throwing good money after bad.

Citibank? Sorry to see you go but that's the way things go sometimes. When do we stop?

I say we all bite the bullet and suffer through the depression brought upon us by ourselves as we are the ones who put those morons in office and allowed them to let the 'free market' go unchecked. I'm so angry about it I'm willing to suffer along with the ones responsible for this mess just to watch them suffer.

ann said...

I'm afraid of what will be - two of my children are in banking and the other is in property - not rosy futures for anyone - I wonder how long the Bank of Mum will surivive the crisis

SnarkAngel said...

My boss says she does not want to lose me and will keep me on as long as possible. But it doesn't look good. Yesterday, my duties consisted of deleting junk eMails, answering the phone 3 times, backing up the hard drive, and dropping off the boss' mail at her residence. About an hour's worth of work in an 8-hour day. Tough times ahead, people. Very tough times.

jazzy said...

As long as the top-share holders make big money, nothing will change into good.

JoJo said...

Citibank is our mortgage company. I wonder if they'll end up selling our loan to someone else? They were always great; we still have a Citibank credit card too.

My bank, Washington Mutual, went under and was bought by Chase. Now they are moving WaMu's operations base out of Seattle, which means at least 3,500-4,000 people being laid off. On December 1. Lovely.

Snarkangel, I am SO sorry to hear that your job is in flux. What a horrid feeling, wondering day to day if you will have a job.

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