Citicorp Says It Rode Out Run on Hong Kong Branch

Citicorp said Monday that business at its branches in Hong Kong was back to normal after a three-day run last week.

"Branch traffic reduced to normal levels by late Friday morning and remained normal throughout the rest of the day," Steven Baker, division head for north Asian countries, was quoted as saying in a statement.

No Damage Short-Term

Mr. Baker told Reuters that the three-day run, which ended on Friday, caused no short-term damage.

Citicorp has more than $10 billion in assets in Hong Kong and several billions in deposits.

Mr. Baker declined to disclose the exact amount of deposits or withdrawals but hinted that the bank may have lost as much as 5% of its deposits.

A spokesman for Standard Chartered PLC, a British bank hit by heavy withdrawals Thursday and Friday, told Reuters Monday that it lost more than $385 million in deposits.

Brokers said most of the deposits appear to have been moved to Hongkong Bank and Hang Sen Bank, both retail banking units of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp.

The British colony has no deposit insurance and has been gripped by near-hysteria since the government closed Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong last month just days after local authorities assured nervous depositors that their money was safe.

Other Runs Experienced

Brief runs on two Arab-owned banks last month were followed by a three-day run on Citibank last week, a two-day run on Standard Chartered, and a minor run on Citicorp's Australian banking unit by overseas Chinese.

Last week's run on Standard Chartered came despite vehement denials by the bank and Hong Kong government of rumors that Standard Chartered had lost its license and trading in its shares had been suspended in London.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.