Citibank continues its reign over the best cash management house award, securing it for the fourth time in a row. The distinguishing point of Citibank is its true regional coverage and commitment to the region. Citibank operates a 13-country regional cash processing centre which handles approximately 18,000 cross border funds transfers amounting to $19 billion per day, with 99.99% accuracy for the region. By launching a number of new initiatives in perceived "difficult" countries such as China, Citibank has demonstrated a true commitment to the region this year.

In a country where stationery used for processing payments is still regulated by the central bank, Citibank managed to acquire 70 new mandates in China this year, thanks to its new payments and collections products. Citibank's "Anywhere in China" payment software enables end-to-end automation by integrating with a company's ERP system. Payments can be effected in more than 7000 locations within 24 to 48 hours, with advices being auto faxed or e-mailed. Funds can be brought in within 24 hours from 64 cities from any bank in China with Citibank's collection product.

Citibank has been aggressive in expanding its networks in other Asian countries such as Indonesia and Thailand. Citibank Thailand has grown its collection volume by 354% over the past year and has seen an outstanding liability portfolio growth of 47% during the same period. In Indonesia, the bank has created a number of innovative solutions tailored to local conditions. For example, Citibank has launched EscrowPlus, a full escrow agency service required by companies undergoing restructuring with lenders. Overall, Citibank has grown its active customer base in Asia by 12% in a tough year.

Citibank also continues to stride ahead in relation to technological innovation, and making sure that Asia doesn't miss out on its offerings. This year sees the introduction of Citidirect, a global initiative that offers seamless access to all of Citibank's business banking products, including cash, trade, securities and foreign exchange, online. This initiative looks to make Citibank a "one stop shop" for all corporate banking needs on one integrated online platform and a pace-setter in the new century.

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