Citibank N A Complaint - Citibank savings account made me bankrupt...
if your reading this you've either been tarred with the same dirty black stick as me or your considering investing money with Citibank.
My advice is stay well clear of Citibank and anything they offer you, including any investment account, or off shore savings account. I googled Citibank before I did put my saving with them and nothing much came up about them so hopefully someone is reading this that can benefit and we'll make the world a better place.
Here's my experience :
first off all I am just a working family man with no experience of stocks or investment banking. I am a fair open minded sort of a guy and never had big desires to buy stocks or no big ideas of investment. Just a normal steady guy.
i wish I could go back in time to a year ago, I would keep walking past the Citibank building and carry on living my life with no problems. ...
back in early 2008 had all my hard earned savings (HARD EARNED) in a Citibank savings account, just while I was figuring out what home to buy etc. around It was all I had.
A few weeks into having the funds in there I get a phone call from my account manager "russell Lumm". He began with the usual nice stuff, "good day " hows your life going" etc. He expressed a personal interest in me and asked me would I be interested in making some extra money. He told me I could get into investing. I told him 'no'
Its not my field, I have no knoledge of it.
over the coming weeks I got more phone calls from him .
He said he could give me a 150k USD value loan in Japanses yen which has a payback interest of 1% and buy USD or sterling with it and yeild 5% interest back from the new currency which would pay the 1% loan and leave me a profit, whilst also doing currency switches from USD to Sterling to euro etc while all the time keeping a YEN loan interest rate. I was interested and wanted to learn more about this trading but I told him 'no' I wasn't ready for it.
Citibank kept calling me, they assured me it was a great investment.
He told me we could do a recorded verbal contract over the phone for the loan like the Forex trading guys do for live rates. I told him 'no'.
Over the weeks I got more calls and they kept giving me scenarios demonstrating how I could make money with the YEn loan.
10 more phone calls later from Citibank, and I told them not to do anything without my final consent which they agreed to.
1 week later I get a letter informing me I got $150000USD deposited in my account :0(
I called Citibank up straight away. I tried getting hold of that account manager but he was always too busy to take my call. Finally I got hold of some random accounts person who told me for Citibank to take the money back I will have to pay interest on it plus a penalty fee of $3500.U. S and they advised against it.
The loan money sat there for a couple of weeks while I tried to get hold of my accounts manager. I was so angry at them. I never consented to this loan. And anyway it certainly was not japanese yen. And where they got 150000 U.S. from I have no idea. looking back they must have thought how much can we screw out of this guy...
A couple of weeks after the loan I get a call from Citibanks bobby Koh and he advised me everything was going well and he advised I invest the $150k USD in a Citibank investment product called a "premium account"
He explained the premium account runs for 4 week interval and time locks the funds in another currency, like a time lock savings account and earns high interest, then gives the return at the end of the 4 weeks.
i was really worried having this big loan sat there, I never had any loans, mortgages or credit cards in my life, and this Citibank representative seemed to know what he was talking about so I agreed. after all they are a bonofide company...? I gave consent to the verbal contract over the phone and we entered into the premium account. (this time I did actually give my consent -in the thought of damage control at this stage hoping things would get better)
4 weeks later I get another phone call from Citibank. Same guy. Bobby koh. He tells me I did well with this premium account, I covered the cost of my loan and made some money on the premium account. He recommended I do another one immediately to cover the costs on this loan. Of course I agreed. We did the verbal contract on the phone. This pattern went on for months and months. every conversation we had Citibank told me I was making money and the investment strategy was effective.
I kept reading my bank statements each month and although they were confusing and hard to read, they appeared to be making money in interest each month on the premium account. I trusted Citibanks good reputation and kept in good faith that they were looking after my best interests.
Anyway. after a while I started getting a bad feeling so I sat down for a whole day and went through all the statements and they were very deceptive and confusing to read. On one side they showed a profit from the investment returns. Then they showed a portfolio worth then at the end my savings account. The portfolio worth always showed good value. But then it turns out every month my savings account was getting eaten up. It turns out I was loosing a steady 5 grand a month across the board on my savings account :0( I lost 30grand over 6 months.
This was coming out of my savings end of the account which was separate to the loan and investment product being eaten up with extortionate fees, and crazy interest rates. So on the one hand you got the premium account showing a tiny profit then wopping lumps coming out of the savings account for costs, loans, interest (US dollar based interest not yen I might add)
I called Citibank up, I got hold of my accounts manager and his first words were:
"don't worry everything is fine,!your account is fine, you've made a good return this month on your investment." -Can you believe these people?
I expressed my anger and asked what was he going to do about all this mess. his next words were "we recommend you reinvest in another investment product!" -Balls or what?
I terminated the loan with them, emptied my account of what little was left of my savings, and have since suffered a nervous breakdown. it has since changed my good faith outlook on the world and made me feel the world is full of sneaky, lieing, Citibank people who pray on normal, trusting people like me. It makes me sad, (not for me) but for my children that they have to live in such a horrible world where corporate suits are screwing us left right and center on our savings, pensions, mortgages and any other way they can find to remove money from us.
My business confidence is gone. I now feel what's the point ?
i am now in legal proceedings with Citibank to try and recover my funds.
to anyone considering opening an account with them with them, - stay well clear and get on with your life -it will be much better if Citibank are not in it.