NEW YORK -- Citibank said Tuesday that it will increase ways that customers can qualify for free checking and preferred pricing -- including one that lets securities holdings at the bank be included in calculating minimum average balances.

The restructured core banking account becomes effective on Jan. 1, the bank said. Under its terms, New York customers are offered four new ways to qualify for no-charge checking and preferred pricing. The core banking account links all customer accounts -- checking, savings, and investments -- in a master account.

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