Citi CEO Emails To Inform You Of Citi's "Bold Steps," Neglects To Tell You What The "Bold Steps" Are

Reader Ben writes:

I found this Citi email funny because it is the CEO making me “among the first to know about the bold steps” that Citi is taking. He then goes on to not tell me anything at all about the bold steps. At least in my opinion.


Citi writes:

Dear BENJAMIN [redacted],

I want you to be among the first to know about the bold steps we are taking at Citi to be the premier, global, fully integrated financial services firm.

Our objective is to create for our customers an experience in which services are seamless, payments and transfers effortless, and distances meaningless. My commitment – and the commitment of everyone at Citi – is to work tirelessly around the world and around the clock to deliver outstanding value and service as we continue to earn your trust.

We are proud of our enduring strength as a global financial institution, striving to successfully meet the needs of clients like you in more than 100 countries. As always, we look forward to continuing to serve you – wherever you are and wherever you need to be.


Vikram Pandit
CEO, Citi

Ben, your problem is that you don’t speak CEO. Thankfully, we do. What Mr. Pandit really means to say is this:

An Oppenheimer analyst was quoted in the media as saying “”We wish [Citi’s] management team all the best in their ambitious endeavors, but we fear [it] is past the point of fixing,” so we think you might fire us as your bank… and so we thought we’d email you. Hi there! Please ignore the fact that people are saying we are “so deep in a black hole that even renown physicist Stephen Hawking could not help the ailing company.” Kisses, -Vikram

(Photo: cmorran123 )


Edit Your Comment

  1. Kos says: has a whole analysis of Citi’s new slogan, “Citi never sleeps.” You should check it out.

    And I got the CEO email three times now.

  2. iEddie says:

    Bold steps… Like fee increases!


    Hee hee hee, bold steps…

  4. sleze69 says:

    “John Galt is going to save the economy with his bold new steps”

  5. starrion says:

    “To offset our losses in the mortgage market, we’ll be increasing our fees. Oh look! You dropped a dollar behind you!”

  6. I got this same email, and had the exact same question. What are the bold steps? Invest in MORE subprime mortgages?

    Here’s my bold step – I’m moving my checking and savings accounts to ING Direct. I’m getting 3% on savings (vs. 1.75% at Citi) and 1.75% on checking (vs. 0% at Citi), plus it’s a virtually fee-free account.

    See ya Vikram!

  7. SkokieGuy says:

    You can’t identify the bold steps? Bold steps =
    1. create for our customers an experience in which services are seamless,
    2. payments and transfers effortless
    3. distances meaningless.
    4. Work tirelessly around the world and around the clock to deliver outstanding value and service
    5. Continue to earn your trust.

    And while of course this is BS marketspeak, it IS amusing that CitiBank acknowledges that items are BOLD STEPS. F’ing revolutionary! How much did they pay a consultant to tell them that providing functional banking services would be a good business plan?

    Suit A:
    Do you think trying to get our customers to trust us is a
    good idea?
    Suit B:
    Not sure, let’s do some market research and focus group studies. You know, what you’re proposing is a BOLD STEP.

  8. drdom says:

    There are 2 reasons he doesn’t explain the “bold new steps”.

    One reason is that they haven’t figured out what those steps are

    And another is that it will likely involve having their clients bend at the waist and grab their ankles.

    At least he was nice enough to warn you in advance

  9. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    I love the “personalized” email with your name delicately pulled from a database somewhere in timbucktoo. And, like Kos said, you’ll get this as many times as their system thinks appropriate.

    We appreciate your email and want you, MRJOHN_SMITH, to know that we will get back to you as soon as possible.

  10. d2kd3k says:

    Maybe he borrowed Obama’s speechwriter…

  11. ryatziv says:

    I got the same email, and my reaction was “wtf….. DELETED!”

  12. Snowblind says:

    I hope his first bold step is down a broken elevator shaft…

  13. azntg says:

    Our bold new steps are… hold on, our research department is still looking up what Citibank advertised to the customers in the ’70’s…

    In any case, it means higher fees and we’ll start by making an universal deduction of $3 from all account as a “Citibank’s New Bold Steps Fee courtesy of Citibank.”

    Thank yew! Thank yew very much!

  14. dragonfire81 says:

    What they are not telling is the bold steps are either fee increases, or customer non-friendly policies designed to only increase profit, not customer satisfaction.

  15. nacio says:

    I’m glad they did a small face lift to their website atleast.

  16. benwellington says:

    What you listed are “objectives”, not bold steps. Steps lead to those objectives.

  17. SkokieGuy says:


    Step #1: Boldly create objectives
    Step #2: Boldly announce objectives in press release
    Step #3: Boldly continuing doing business as usual

    And come to think of it, not one Star Trek reference? Citibank BODLY going where no man……

    I’m disapointed!

  18. shortcake says:

    I thought the same thing – totally pointless. I replied that their email didn’t say anything of value and that if future marketing messages will be devoid of an actual message to please remove me from the list. I’m sure the email is lost in the ether but it felt good to call them out on their crappy marketing. Not to mention that their ground-breaking “objective” (services are seamless, payments and transfers effortless, and distances meaningless) is pretty much expected of a global bank these days. It looks worse to call that your big exciting objective and broadcast it than to just make the internal improvements that are expected of you anyway.

  19. dariasofi says:

    @ d2kd3k: Well said. lol!

    The bold steps will be his last steps out of the building before opening his golden parachute. Useless.

  20. tschepsit says:

    I got the same email. Which is funny, since I closed my account with Citi a week ago.

  21. mmstk101 says:

    Step One: Send out emails informing everyone of bold new steps
    Step Two: ???????
    Step Three: Profit!

    /i couldn’t resist. sorry : )

  22. NotATool says:

    And here I thought he wanted ME to be one of the first to know of these bold steps.

    I’m disappointed to learn that I’m not a unique snowflake. Thanks Citi.

  23. phil28 says:

    I received the email today and first thought it was phishing because they left the first letter off of my last name. So not only did they insult me with nothing of substance, they got my name wrong. And I’m trusting them with my money?

  24. mike says:

    For the record, I’d like to tell you all that I’m creating a committee to consider taking bold steps in fixing the economy. Our research pre-committee has determined the the economy is sinking and their non-binding resolution was to form a committee to discuss possible solutions.

    Thank you for your confidence,
    Your elected congressional leaders.

  25. xerent says:

    @mmstk101: /shakes fist

    Damn you! You stole my line!