Citigroup Says Tech Trouble Fixed After Customer Complaints

Updated on
  • Posts on social media indicated purchases denied, ATMs down
  • ‘Brief system issue’ was to blame, bank spokeswoman says

Citigroup Inc., the fourth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, said it repaired a technical issue after customers complained on social media that they couldn’t access accounts remotely and automated teller machines were inoperative.

“We resolved a brief system issue that affected service this evening for some customers,” Jennifer Bombardier, a spokeswoman for the New York-based bank, said in an e-mailed statement late Friday. “We sincerely regret any inconvenience this caused customers.” She didn’t say how long the trouble lasted or which services were hampered.

A Bloomberg reporter spoke with four people at a bank branch on Manhattan’s Upper East Side earlier Friday who said debit cards didn’t work at the ATM there. On social media, people said transactions had been denied as they tried to make purchases including groceries and prescription drugs. Some said they were unable to access accounts online and encountered busy signals when calling customer service. Affected U.S. states included New York, Pennsylvania and California, according to the posts.

The bank received complaints earlier this week about a new credit card it offered for Costco Wholesale Corp. customers, who said they experienced lengthy wait times while on hold with Citigroup customer service and had trouble activating accounts. Bombardier said Tuesday that the bank had issued 11 million of the cards and received 1.5 million customer calls over two days.

Citigroup shares plunged 9.4 percent to $40.30 in New York trading earlier Friday as U.S. stocks fell in the wake of the U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union. Citigroup has fallen 22 percent this year.

Citigroup, the world’s biggest credit-card lender, ranked second-to-last of 10 companies in a J.D. Power credit-card customer satisfaction ranking last year.