Citibank shuts down online-only bank

Citibank today said it has decided to close down its online-only bank, Citi f/i, and to fold some of the features from that business unit into the online arm of its regular banking service.

According to Citibank spokesman Mark Rodgers, a deadline for closing Citi f/i and folding it into the company's mainstream banking operations hasn't been set yet. "What we're doing now is taking the best features of both of these services and combining them into one," he said.

Citibank currently has around 450,000 online customers, the bulk of whom use the Direct Access service that's available to any of the bank's customers. Citi f/i is a standalone bank, and its customers are offered better prices on banking products. But they don't have access to Citibank's physical branches.

"What we found is that customers want some access to those financial centres," Rodgers said. "Some customers are comfortable dealing with us on the internet alone, and we will continue to offer them that option. But most clients also want the ability to tap into our financial centres."

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