The bank is looking to target businesses with less than $20 million in annual sales. With the additional hires, Citi's total number of small-business bankers would be approximately 500, or one for every two U.S. branches, Bloomberg says.
Citigroup apparently claims that 2,500 of the world's 3,000 largest corporations are clients, the article says, but like other large U.S. banks, it is making a push for small companies.
"It's a renewed focus for us," Raj Seshadri, Citi's head of small-business banking told Bloomberg. "We feel we can help business owners and the economic recovery, and there's money to be made for our shareholders."Seshadri declined to disclose the total amount of outstanding credit to small businesses. As of the end of the third quarter, Citi had made roughly $4.5 billion in new small business loans - roughly equal to those originated in 2009, Bloomberg said. Large banks including Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are also looking to attract more business customers. However, banks with less than $10 billion in assets provide 56% of small business loans in the U.S., the Bloomberg article said citing data from the Independent Community Bankers of America. Small business banking is typically more relationship-based, something that regional and community banks are more attuned to offering. However, larger banks are looking to smaller companies for business between the combination of pressure from the government for banks to lend more, particularly to small businesses, as well as banks continuing to stem mortgage losses as well as offset lost fee revenue due to new financial reform measures. Separately, Chase said Monday that it had more than doubled its Small Business Administration loan volume this year. The bank has made 3,386 loans in fiscal 2010, Chase said, up 170% from a year earlier. In dollar amounts, Chase lent $434 million in SBA loans, up 217%, it said.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV