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January 01 2004

Operation HOPE and Citigroup Announce Partnership in the Banking on Our Future Financial Literacy Program

Announcement Made as DC Students Participate in Program that Empowers Young People with the Skills to Manage their Financial Futures

Washington, DC – In support of helping to empower young people with the skills needed to successfully manage their financial futures, Citibank’s President of the Mid-Atlantic Region, Alyson Klug; Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Bryant; and Citigroup’s Office of Financial Education Director, Dara Duguay joined with youngsters on April 21 at the Eastern Branch of the Boys and Girls Club to participate in a “Banking on Our Future” financial lesson. Citigroup, the parent company of Citibank, and Operation HOPE also jointly announced their new local partnership for financial literacy education. This comes just two weeks after Citigroup announced its national partnership with Operation HOPE, as well as a 10-year, $200 million global financial education commitment, the formation of a new Office of Financial Education, and a global initiative to allow employees a day off from work to volunteer in their communities.

Citigroup is joining Operation HOPE's “Banking on Our Future” initiative, the only national urban delivery platform for financial literacy education in the country today, lending resources and more than 300 Citigroup employees as volunteer HOPE Corps banker-teachers to educate our youth in necessary life skills. The Citigroup Foundation also announced a $250,000 grant to Operation HOPE, which will help the organization deliver “Banking on Our Future” to 30 schools in Washington, DC; Oakland, CA; and Harlem, NY.

Said Alyson Klug, “Citigroup is a long-standing supporter of financial education and through our efforts we are reaching millions of people, helping them achieve their dreams by giving them the tools to manage their finances responsibly, make informed economic decisions and achieve success. We are pleased to partner with Operation Hope for this initiative that will give students in the District and in neighboring communities a head start on building bright financial futures.”

“Banking on Our Future” is an economic literacy initiative that teaches children the basics of managing their financial futures and surviving in a global economy. It is currently the only national urban platform for economic literacy in the country today, operating in eight states and the District of Columbia. Using a growing network of 1,500 trained volunteer banker-teachers, the “Banking on Our Future” initiative teaches four core modules, and to date has educated more than 126,000 youth about the basics of banking; how to open and maintain a checking and savings account; the power of credit; and basic investments.

“Citigroup’s involvement in the ‘Banking on Our Future’ program reaches far beyond financial support,” said John Bryant. “Citigroup employees are in the classroom every day, providing our youth with the knowledge they need to prepare for the economic realities of life and personal finance. When kids know better, they do better, and we look forward to continuing our work with Citigroup to educate our children in financial literacy.”

Along with Citigroup, OHI partners in “Banking on Our Future” also include local and federal Departments of Education, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve System, the Department of Banking and Financial Institutions of Washington DC, the Office of Thrift Supervision, New York Bankers Association, New York State Banking Department, American Bankers Association, America’s Community Bankers, Community Bankers Association, California Bankers Association, and over 150 public and private partners.

Citigroup’s partnership with Operation HOPE for “Banking on Our Future” is part of the Citigroup Financial Education Program, a global, company-wide effort to identify, support and implement initiatives that help give individuals, families and communities the tools needed to make sound financial decisions. Citigroup’s recently announced 10-year, $200 million global financial education commitment is focused in three areas: Personal Financial Education, Small Business Financial Education, and Institutional Financial Education. Additional information about Citigroup’s Financial Education Program, including Foundation guidelines, links and resources, including the Citigroup Financial Education Program Curriculum and Facilitator’s Guide may be found at: financialeducation.citigroup.com.

Operation HOPE is a national non-profit self-help organization working to bring economic self-sufficiency to inner-city residents. With more than $185 million in outstanding commitments from its 150 bank and corporate partners for homeownership and small business loans, $117 million in funded loans and over 575,000 customers served in financial literacy education and related services, Operation HOPE is a national leader in providing economic empowerment tools and services.

Citigroup (NYSE: C), the preeminent global financial services company has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup\'s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Travelers Life and Annuity. The Citigroup Foundation focuses its grants primarily in three areas: financial education, educating the next generation, and building communities and entrepreneurs. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com.
 
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