For Citibank, There's No Place Like Asia

Russell Chen, the 33-year-old owner of a computer-parts company, is typical of the millions of young, newly affluent entrepreneurs who are energizing Asia's booming economies. When he discovered that his bank had moved to another neighborhood far from his Taipei office, he began looking for an alternative. A flashy brochure from Citibank caught his eye, and Chen opened an account. The U.S. bank offered all the standard products, as well as the ability to bank in eight different currencies. But the clincher came when Chen learned of Citi's banking-by-phone feature, a convenience that remains alien to many local banks in Taiwan. "I can switch $80,000 from a savings account to checking just like that," says Chen, snapping his fingers.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.