Citi rolls out new personal loan, online savings account

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Citigroup has launched a new consumer loan product and a new high-yielding savings account as part of its rollout of its new digital bank.

The New York bank recently introduced Citi Flex Loan, which allows select existing Citi credit card customers to convert part of their credit lines to a loan with a fixed annual percentage rate, Mark Mason, Citigroup's incoming chief financial officer, said Tuesday at an investor conference.

Consumers choose the loan amount and can opt for repayment terms up to five years, Mason said. A separate loan application is not required.

The bank also recently introduced Citi Accelerate Savings, an online savings account that pays a rate of 2.36% with no minimum balance required. The savings account is offered in 41 states, a company spokeswoman said.

“We’re targeting customers that are outside of those [metropolitan statistical areas] so that we’re not kind of cannibalizing our own customer base, but instead of tapping identified customer that are of a quality profile,” Mason said at the Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum in Key Biscayne, Fla.

The Citi Accelerate Savings account must be opened in conjunction with another account, such as checking or wealth management.

Unlike rivals JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, Citigroup does not plan to open scores of new branches, Mason said. Instead, the bank plans to target its existing credit card customers in an effort to juice its consumer loan and deposit growth.

“Our physical footprint is very, very small,” Mason said. “But, that said, we’ve got a very, very large cards customer base.”

Among Citigroup’s 28 million card customers in the U.S., only a low-single-digit percentage of them also have a retail banking account.

“If we could just penetrate a small percentage of [those customers] with retail banking activities, we think that creates a significant opportunity for us,” Mason said.

Citi recently introduced a digital-only bank, which it’s using to attract customers in areas where it does not have branches.

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