Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) has shut down one of its private exclusive but risky programs as a result of Swiss franc losses.
The investment program gave investors involved an opportunity to make highly priced bets in the stock markets by skipping some of the important risk management measures put in place by banks.
The bank brought the service to an end after it had been open for quite some time since 2007. The decision to close it came after the bank and a few clients suffered some major losses following rapid changes in the Swiss franc.
According to sources, the service was limited to 40 clients who had signed up for the alternative credit program. The clientele was made up of managers for wealthy families and hedge fund management. The clients were given the power to increase their betting capacities through the fast trading activities that were not closely monitored. In short it was just like the bank’s normal trading services but with fewer regulations and checks.
Consultants and specialists from other financial institutions said that the program from Citigroup was new and uncommon in the industry. It was also one of the strategies that attracted clients from other banks.
According to one of the consultants from Aite Group by the name Javier Paz, said that it was unfamiliar for banks to give different high-value clients different deals. He described the service as very peculiar and unusual. More to that, the other major banks do not employ such projects or services.
Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) decided to get rid of the service following the 40% rise of the Swiss franc that led to massive losses for the bank as well as clients subscribed to the service. The Bank recorded losses amounting to more than $150 million. The actual figures representing the losses suffered by the clients have not been established or posted.
In the meantime, the bank has been trying to make up for losses to get back some off the losses incurred in the process.
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