Citi group: taking sides

Essay by Tupi September 2008

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Taking SidesDebates are healthy ways to express opposing sides of an issue. In every debate there are issues over which there is no debate. There is no debate that Citigroup is an excellent example of an organization that has displayed environmental adaptability. However, when the discussion turns to Citibank's expansion efforts with respect to China, other considerations exist.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether or not Citigroup has displayed adaptability in its expansion efforts considering China's unique environment. In this paper, the team will gauge the respective pros and cons while attempting to answer the question - has Citigroup done enough to adapt in a unique environment such as China, where challenges include the fear that social and economic issues might cause China to impose regulatory restrictions? Or, might economic growth be stymied by the political structure? The debate ensues because there are many challenges.

Although there were many restrictions Citigroup faced, such as China's banking regulations, regulatory reforms, and terms and conditions of the WTO membership, Citibank used these limitations to its advantage and became the first foreign bank to receive approval for foreign currency dealings.

As a result, in 2001 Citigroup was one of the most powerful financial service companies in the world. This allowed Citibank, apart of Citigroup, to gain a limited range license for commercial activities. Consequently, in 2002 Citibank became one of the strongest foreign banks operating in the People's Republic of China. After China gained access to the World Trade Organization this permitted foreign banks like Citigroup to conduct business with specific cities which held a license. These benefits put Citigroup ahead of its counterparts and helped its effort in China expansion.

Contributing to Citigroup's adaptability is the fact that they dedicated many years to strategic management planning, one department at...