Citibank in Boston - a postmortem

Much was made of Citibank’s entry into the Boston market in 2006. The bank splashily, and expensively, attached its name to the Wang Center which became the Wang Theater at the Citi Performing Arts Center. Citi opened its first branches in 2007 and soon had 30 in the greater Boston region.

And it had a strategy as well. We will “follow our Smith Barney customers” in Boston. So, the bank established branches in over-banked communities like North Andover (seven branches), Newton (over twenty), Wellesley (seventeen), Needham (ten), Lexington (sixteen) and Brookline (eighteen) eschewing comparatively under-served working class locations such as Dorchester, Roxbury, Brockton and Lawrence. By 2012, Citigroup had sold Smith Barney to Morgan Stanley taking a $2.9 billion write-down in the process.

Citi also never seemed to understand the Massachusetts market. The bank did not offer first-time mortgage programs through either MassHousing or the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. Instead, Citi made feeble attempts to offer “HomeRun”, a promising portfolio mortgage product that could not be used to purchase triple-deckers that populate many urban neighborhoods here.

Campbell and Jackson Top Vote Getters in Preliminary Election in Districts 4 and 7

September 8, 2015 - Voters in City Council Districts 4 and 7 went go to the polls today and narrowed the field of candidates to two finalists in each district. Challenger Andrea Campbell took 58% of the vote in District 4 and will now face incumbent City Councilor Charles Yancey in November. Councilor Tito Jackson received 66% of the vote in a five-person race in District 7 will face Charles Clemons in the final.


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