Citibank brings full teller service to U of C

By Benjamin Hellwege

Beginning next quarter, full teller service at Citibank’s Ellis Avenue branch will be available to the University community. The bulk of the construction for the two teller service stations, which is expected to take three to four weeks, will occur over winter break. During that time, the Ellis Avenue branch will remain open to customers.

The addition of two teller stations comes on the heels of the University’s renewal of its contract with Citibank last year. “During the selection process last year, the Student Staff Committee talked to students about ways to improve campus banking,” said Bill Michel, deputy dean of students in the University. “Many students mentioned that they wanted full teller service at the Citibank Ellis Avenue branch, and the Student Staff Committee agreed.”

According to Michel, all banks that were competing for the contract last year were made aware of the student demand for full teller service. “The contract with Citibank was renewed in part because Citibank agreed to provide full teller service at the Ellis Avenue branch,” Michel explained.

A new feature of the University’s contract with Citibank is the soon-to-be created Student Advisory Committee to Citibank. The committee will consist of students appointed by the president of Student Government and will help advise Citibank about current student needs. Additionally, Citibank plans on offering financial information sessions to help students.

The recent improvements to Citibank’s campus services came about largely in response to student criticism of Citibank before the contract renewal.

Many students complained last year that Citibank charged a service fee to those using non-Citibank ATM cards, something which was not altered in the new contract.

“Some students may remember that when Citibank first came to campus some time ago, there was no service fee to use a non-Citibank ATM card at a Citibank ATM,” Michel said. “That was not part of the original agreement between the University and Citibank. Instead, Citibank on a national basis did not charge a service fee, and that was an advantage for the selection of Citibank at the time of the original contract.”

A few years later, however, Citibank Corporation decided on a national basis to begin charging a fee to use non-Citibank ATM cards at Citibank ATMs. As a result, the Citibank ATMs on campus began to charge fees accordingly.

The two teller stations will be open to Citibank and non-Citibank customers, and Mark Rogers, a Citibank public relations officer, said he does not anticipate that there will be a fee for this service.