Citigroup seeks some of its billion from NZ

Citigroup, the financial services giant that has partnered with Netscape in a drive to attract a billion customers worldwide by 2010, has prepared for business in New Zealand by registering a brace of domain names. Citigroup officially came into being on October 8 with the merger of Citibank and Travellers Group, but Citibank has been steadily registering related names on the New Zealand domain name system since April.

Citigroup, the financial services giant that has partnered with Netscape in a drive to attract a billion customers worldwide by 2010, has prepared for business in New Zealand by registering a brace of domain names.

Citigroup officially came into being on October 8 with the merger of Citibank and Travellers Group, but Citibank has been steadily registering related names on the New Zealand domain name system since April.

The domain citibank.co.nz was registered late last year, but still points visitors towards Citibank's US site. The nearest Citibank site is the sophisticated multimedia Website operated by Citibank Australia, which signalled its intention to move to electronic banking technologies earlier this year.

Eight-year-old Citibank New Zeakland has never had its own chain of branches, preferring to use accredited agents throughout the country.

The list of names registered since April includes citi.co.nz, citifi.co.nz, citifiathome.co.nz, citifiatwork.co.nz, citigroup.co.nz and citiholdings.co.nz, suggesting that company intends consumer as well as corporate services here at some point

No Website is available for these names, but a holding page at www.citigroup.com bids visitors welcome in several languages. An email link on the page drew a automatic reply directing enquiries to a physical address in New New Jersey.

The organisation's international plans may become clearer following the November 1 apppointment of Deryck C. Maughan as a vice chairman of Citigroup. According to a statement, Maughan has "responsibility for advising on the development and implementation of Citigroup strategy, including the integration of the investment and corporate banking client relationships worldwide."

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