processing operations into a single center in Dublin, taking advantage of the Irish capital's hospitality toward corporate tenants.
Operations for cash management, global custody, funds administration, and corporate card processing are being moved from five sites into a 270,000-square-foot office block in Dublin's International Financial Services Center. In all, 100,000 transactions worth $100 billion pass through the Irish processing centers each day for customers in Europe and the United States.
The office building, Ireland's largest, is to accommodate more than 2,000 people when it opens next year. "Our plan is to develop a total of 2,300 jobs in Ireland over the next three to five years," said Aidan Brady, chief executive officer of Citibank Ireland.
The banking company's decision to center the bulk of its European processing in Dublin was not motivated by the country's favorable tax rates, Mr. Brady said, but the low-rate environment is "a major consideration for most of our customers."
One of Citibank Ireland's most successful initiatives is running treasury services on behalf of corporate customers as an outsourcer. Ninety major corporations and financial institutions, including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Dow Chemical, and McDonald's, have turned over their treasury operations to Citibank.
"We are the leading foreign bank in Ireland with outsourced treasury operations," Mr. Brady said. "We are growing by 15 companies a year."
The corporate tax rate on companies in the International Financial Services Center is 10%, according to the Industrial Development Agency of Ireland. The rate will rise to 12.5% for all businesses starting Jan. 1, 2003.
That is "still the lowest in Europe for international business," said Lesley Murphy, new business manager of the financial services division of IDA Ireland. Homegrown Irish companies pay a 28% tax rate, though that may be reduced.
Other advantages to expansion in Ireland include a good telecommunications infrastructure and a steady supply of educated young people, Mr. Brady said. About 15% of Citibank Ireland's employees in Ireland are foreign nationals; 5% are American.
Though he said young people are getting harder to retain in the processing and call center businesses, Mr. Brady said consolidating departments in the new building would open up more attractive jobs.
For example, the bank's Salomon Smith Barney affiliate plans to install a front office for the sale of U.S. and European equities.
"When we're all doing business together, there will be an amazing mix of opportunities in one space," said Mr. Brady, which could translate into better openings for Citibank employees.
In addition, he said, "it will be easier to create a cultural identity under one roof."