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Citigroup targets Indian small businesses with a new portfolio of products

Citibank India, the local arm of Citigroup, the world's leading provider of financial services, has launched 'CitiBusiness', a suite of business and financial solutions targeted at the small businesses and professionals community with annual turnovers of up to $10 million.

Small and medium size enterprises make up 95% of businesses in Asia. In India, the small businesses and professionals community is estimated at more than three million, representing over 98% of business enterprises locally, the bank says.

Through this new offering, Citibank says it is responding to the key insights obtained on the present-day needs of the SBP community from their financial services providers. According to an independent survey commissioned by Citibank in November 2005, it was found that small business companies and professionals in India often lack the resources, support and networks to expand their business.

Among the other findings is the fact that the SBP segment is over-banked but under-served. These companies demand a long-term relationship orientation, product customization and flexibility, financial partnership for overcoming scale disadvantages, all which providers typically offer only to large corporations.

‘CitiBusiness’ aims to address these customer concerns through four distinct offerings:

– PowerAccess, the only community of its kind supported by a financial institution designed to address the scale disadvantages faced by smaller businesses by leveraging on the collective power of CitiBusiness customers

– The CitiBusiness Account, the relationship core, serviced by a dedicated Relationship Manager for both personal and business banking needs

– The CitiBusiness card, a business payment credit card based on the VISA platform that offers large-size credit lines

– Specialized business lending products such as short-term unsecured business loans, term loans, overdraft facilities, and non-fund based limits for letters of credit, bank guarantees and even future contracts.