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CitiFinancial drops ‘Citi’ name

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Posted: 1 pm ET

OneMain Financial.

That's the new name of Citigroup's consumer lending arm, which offers personal and home equity loans through 1,300 U.S. branches.

The rebranding of the Baltimore-based company, announced last December, is intended to "distinguish its business with an identity that better represents who they are and what they do," according to a press statement.

The new identity comes complete with a new red, white and blue logo and a symbol, described by the company as "the stellar cul-de-sac" of five homes facing one another.

Beginning this month, the brand will be introduced to consumers through an advertising campaign comprised of television commercials, print advertisements, digital placements and radio spots. The company will also sponsor a NASCAR team.

Local branches have been converted to the new look, and existing customers have been notified of the change through mailings, statements and in-branch events.

OneMain Financial is part of Citi Holdings, an entity formed in 2009 to encompass businesses and assets that are "noncore" to Citi's future, according to the company. The entity also includes CitiFinancial Servicing, which focuses on home loan modifications and restructurings.

The new name obviously divorces OneMain's image from the Citi brand, presumably to allow for the expected sale of all or part of the company.

A June 2010 CitiFinancial statement hinted at that objective, also reported by the financial press.

"Citi remains focused on tightly managing risks and losses within Citi Holdings, while reducing assets in an economically rational manner," the company said. "Citi will continue to pursue divestiture and asset reduction opportunities in a way that is in the best interest of all of stakeholders, with the combined benefits of simplifying the organization and allowing Citi to allocate capital to fund its longer-term strategic businesses."

Translation: We want to unload this company at the best possible price and invest the money in our other businesses.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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