Citibank Restricts Wire Transfers & ATM Withdrawals

Here’s a story that’s flown under the radar. Citibank (NYSE: C) is in serious trouble. You probably already knew that, given the fact the banks’ been begging for billions from SWFs. But did you know that in late December Citibank quietly announced a restriction on wire transfers? The bank told customers that outgoing wire transfers from the banks accounts would be limited to just US$2k per day. Hmmn.

But wait. There’s more. Last week, under the guise of responding to a wave of fraud from automated cash machines, Citi also announced a limit on cash withdrawls from its ATMs in New York City. And you thought the money in your bank account was yours.

There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of this. But the simplest explanation is almost always the best. Citibank is in desperate need of its capital. The best way to keep your customers money is to prevent them from taking it out of the bank. It’s a kind of low-level, mild-mannered capital control.

How has the Treasury managed the Citi crisis differently than the way the Bank of England managed Northern Rock? And what will the end result be for Citi? Stay tuned.

Dan Denning
Markets and Money

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.

Leave a Reply

4 Comments on "Citibank Restricts Wire Transfers & ATM Withdrawals"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Hi there,

If Citi truly is that capital constrained it would appear to be a very major issue.

Do you have a source or further information about this?


Restrictions of $2000 per day are very serious. Is there any proof to back up this claim? It could well be true but without any substantiating evidence in the article it’s difficult to believe.


Without prior notice, Citibank has extended my monthly credit card cut-off day from 15/12 to 23/12, which means all the Christmas shopping on the card needs to be paid 1 month earlier – on 7/1/08 instead of 7/2/08!
(My monthly credit card cut-off day is always the 15th for the past 8 years.) I think Citibank is doing it so quietly hoping that no one notice they are in deep trouble.


Definitely deep doo doo, and B of A is next. That’s what they get for being “the smartest guys in the room.” After all, look what those newfangled business practices did for Enron!

I’m getting buzz that news will hit on “slow Friday” designed to keep their customers distracted. They want to avoid a bank run. As if they could.

Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to