Cash management the Citi way

July 27, 2009

Is Citigroup trying to preserve cash by stiffing some of its vendors?

The other day a vendor for Citibank, the national banking arm of the defacto US taxpayer-owned bank, told me how Citi might be playing games with some of the companies that do busines with it. This vendor says he always used to get his bills paid within 30 days of submitting them to Citibank. But recently it too more than 60 days for a bill to get paid.

A mistake? Did a check get lost in the mail?

Well, according to this vendor, who didn’t want to be identified, Citibank quietly may have changed its policy for paying vendor invoices. The vendor was told that in an attempt to preserve cash, Citibank was declining to pay some invoices within the customary 30-day pay period.

I waited all day to get a response from a Citigroup spokesman before posting this, but my several phone calls were not returned.

Now maybe this case is just an isolated event. Maybe Citigroup is just changing its payment policies for certain types of vendor services. It’s hard to believe that this can really save Citi that much money.

Or maybe this get tough policy is simply a sign of much a slog it still is for Citi.

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