earns_citigroupsffmi_embeddedprod_affiliate3Citigroup became the latest bank to post better than expected results for its first quarter. The bank on Friday said net income of $1.6 billion, compared with a loss of $5.11 billion in the quarter a year ago. Citigroup’s problems are far from over, but it had its best quarter since late 2007.

The bank reported a loss to common shareholders of $966 million after massive loan losses and dividends to preferred stockholders. But before paying those dividends, the bank had net income of $1.6 billion.

Overall, Citigroup’s results were better than expected. The company reported a loss per share of 18 cents, which was narrower than the 34 cents analysts predicted. A year ago, Citigroup suffered a loss of more than $5 billion, or $1.03 a share.

Citigroup’s revenue doubled in the first quarter from a year ago to $24.8 billion thanks to strong trading activity. Its credit costs were high, though, at $10 billion, due to $7.3 billion in loan losses and a $2.7 billion increase in reserves for future loan losses.

Citigroup has been one of the weakest of the large U.S. banks, posting quarterly losses since the fourth quarter of 2007. But in March, CEO Vikram Pandit triggered a stock market rally after he said that January and February had been profitable for Citigroup.
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bailout5_180Five banks have repaid millions of dollars they received from the government’s $700 billion financial bailout pot, the Obama administration said Thursday.

The Treasury Department, which oversees the bailout program, said the banks returned a total of $353 million.

The banks are: Iberiabank Corp. of Lafayette, La.; Bank of Marin Bancorp of Novato, Calif.; Old National Bancorp. of Evansville, Ind.; Signature Bank of New York; and Centra Financial Holdings Inc. of Morgantown, W.Va.

They were the first banks to repay the government, wanting to escape the increasingly tough restrictions placed on participants in the rescue program.

In addition to the $353 million, the banks paid the government a total of $5.4 million in dividends, Treasury Department spokesman Andrew Williams said.

The program was enacted in early October after the financial crisis — the worst since the 1930s — intensified. The goal of the program was to inject capital in banks so that they would be in a better position to boost lending, a crucial ingredient to any economic recovery. Nearly $200 billion has been injected into banks thus far.

The five banks have 15 days to buy back warrants from the government. If they don’t, the government will sell them to private investors, Williams said.

2634978188_28b59ff5eeIranian banks illegally shifted billions of dollars through American financial institutions in recent years, and authorities suspect some of the money may have been used to finance Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

Some of the world’s top banks helped Iran get around international sanctions even as the rogue nation was steering its blood money into the hands of terror groups, prosecutors charged Friday.

Ten international banks including British-based Lloyds laundered “billions of dollars” for Iran through New York banks, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced Friday. The scheme helped Iran turn its dirty money into greenbacks, which it could then use to buy goods prohibited by international sanctions.

Some of the money went to fund terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and to help Iran get materials, including tungsten, for long-range missiles, sources said.

“This is one of the biggest investigations we’ve ever conducted.”

Lloyds admitted it laundered $300 million and agreed to pay a $350 million fine and open its books to investigators. If records show that the bank knew it was helping Iran break international law or foster terrorism, Lloyds could face criminal prosecution, authorities said.

None of the other nine banks was identified because they are working out similar agreements with Morgenthau’s investigators. The CIA will also review the bank records.
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The Rescue Plan. Is my money safe at the Bank?

Well to be honest, I would like to say yes. If you asked me the same question some months months ago, I would have undoubtedly said yes. Now however I actually have a sliver of doubt. It’s true that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) pledges to insure your money.

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Banking is more sensitive business than the other. The online banking makes it more sensitive because all the information and financial transactions take place online.

Reports of rampant Internet fraud and identity theft have led many to conclude that the convenience of online banking and shopping isn’t worth the risk.

That would be the wrong conclusion. The majority of ID theft occurs outside cyberspace. Banks, credit-card issuers and online retailers are rolling out more effective security features.

And there’s plenty you can do on your own to build a Star Wars-worthy force field around your personal data.

1. Once you open an online banking account either personal or current business account than you must get the details by mail like your account number, customer identification number, online access username and password as well as ATM card PIN number etc. You can get all the details in sealed enveloped by post so you must keep all the details in the safer place. Please do not disclose to anybody

2. Online banking business is based on SSL security and Java Script. All transaction you make or all information you feed online will convert into an encryption so there are nil chances to get an access on the customer information.

3. Use credit, not debit. The pay-as-you-go ethos of debit cards is good financially, but for security purposes, credit cards have the edge. They act as a buffer: If your card is misused, you won’t be out actual money before you resolve the situation.

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loans1.jpgAfter consumers complete the loan application and have chosen a loan type, the lender provides several documents to borrowers that disclose important aspects of the loan.

When it comes to borrowing money, it is common to focus on the interest rate. It makes sense, because the interest rate plays the largest role in determining how much the loan will actually cost, plus the interest rate is the easiest way for lenders to market their products.

While interest rates are certainly important, every loan has four common factors that will ultimately determine whether or not the loan is a good deal.

– Most loans come with some type of fee. This fee is usually used to pay for processing or originating the loan, and the fee isn’t always transparent. Sometimes the fees can be worked into the overall cost of the loan, or they may be completely separate. You will probably have to ask in order to find out what the fees are.

– Again, interest rates are used to advertise most loans, and obviously, the lower the rate, the better. One thing you do have to consider is whether the rate is fixed or adjustable, and if there are any special conditions that need to be met in order to qualify for the advertised rate.

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dec_image_business_banking_new.jpgIn your lifetime, you will use plenty of banking products that were previously not available to the ordinary person. Whether you are starting out with a small company or whether you run an established business it is important to ensure that you have the right business account in order to aid the smooth running of your company’s finances.

You can enjoy a choice of popular Business Banking accounts these days from a range of banks and financial institutions, so finding the right business account to suit your needs and those of your business should not prove too much of a problem. Business accounts offer increased convenience and financial support for commercial businesses, and you can enjoy a range of benefits when you open a business account.

Due to laziness alone, we often do our Business Banking with the same people our personal bank account is held with. If you shop around, you wont get much of a better deal financially (rates and services are generally almost identical) but you will find banks who offer better service, better personnel and advice. Depending on the size of your business a large part of Business Funding products are tailored to suit your business needs.

Banks are confident that through their Free Business Banking schemes you can save your business a lot of money. With a simple online calculator you can see how much you can actually save.

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ist2_3145028_monkey_wrench_squeezing_money_isolated_on_white1.jpgAre you short for month money at the end of each month? Do you have 5-10 credit cards, all maxed out to the limit? Do you forget to pay your bills on time? If you have answered, “Yes,” to any of these questions, don’t feel bad and don’t worry. I have some tips that can help you improve your financial picture: Create a Bill-Paying System

The first thing you’ll need to do is to go out and pick up some colored hanging folders. If you don’t have a file cabinet, get a file box that you can find in any stationery store or discount department store. They’re very inexpensive. Then, make a folder for each expense. Use one color for your bank statements, another for your utility bills, and another for credit cards. Keep the system pretty simple or complexity could let procrastination) take over.

Each day when your mail arrives, separate it immediately into what you don’t need and want to throw away and your bills and other things that need attention right away. Do the things that are needed and either pay the bill right away or put them in a central place where you can retrieve them when the money is available for paying the bills. This could be the front of a desk drawer, for instance, or even a basket on top of your desk. Just be sure that nothing goes into that basket besides your bills.

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moneyjj.jpgAn identity thief takes your personal information and uses it without your knowledge. The thief may run up debts or even commit crimes in your name. Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record.

As the name suggests, it is the theft of the personal information of another. The theft would be incomplete unless the information was used for some nefarious process, and it is in many different ways. Keeping your personal information from falling into the wrong hands will help you from becoming another identity theft victim.

The most common form of identity theft is not the stealing of credit card numbers. Instead, the devious individual is aiming for your social security number. Why? That number is the basis of many different financial transactions.

With a social security number, an identity thief can take many financial steps. They can open multiple credit card accounts. They even apply for a loan once they establish a second address.

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Imagine, you need details of your last few transactions, but are stuck in a traffic jam on way to the bank. How you wish you could get the details on your mobile phone!

atts.jpgWell, you really can ‘bank’ on your mobile phone today, provided you have opted for the service from your bank. Just SMS (short message service) your bank’s customer service number and get the details in a few seconds – that’s how simple it can get, if you have a mobile phone, a personal identification number and a phone banking number from your bank. It’s the same with paying utility bills, transferring money to someone, whether in your home country or abroad, and making a purchase at a retail store.

Most banks already allow customers to make basic transactions over the phone. Banking might be getting a little easier than that. One of the largest banks, recently announced plans for a mobile banking service. To use the service, mobile users download an application to their cell phones, just like you would for a game or song, and use their cell phones to check balances, transfer funds, pay bills, or even find an ATM.

Having the ability to bank using a cell phone is an innovative idea, but will it make it easier for consumers to pay their bills? Perhaps. If your credit card payment is due today, this mobile banking service might allow you to pay it the second you remember it, rather than risk a late payment due to forgetfulness.

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