Citigroup closes some branches, mostly in LA and Chicago, due to George Floyd protests


(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc (C.N) said on Friday it would “proactively” close some branches and reduce hours at others in light of protests around the country in response to the death of George Floyd that have at times turned violent.

Some of Citi’s branches were damaged during recent demonstrations, head of U.S. consumer banking Anand Selva said in an email to customers.

“We are actively working on repairs and assessing the situation carefully to re-open these branches,” he said.

“Where necessary, we’re putting in place heightened security protocols, including proactively closing or reducing hours in some of our branches.”

As of Friday morning, about 40 of Citigroup’s 700 branches were temporarily closed due to planned protest activity or previous damage, spokesman Drew Benson said. Most of the closures are in the Los Angeles and Chicago markets.

Protests against police brutality and racial inequality have swept the United States over the last week, causing local governments to impose curfews in attempt to keep them from becoming violent. The unrest and threat of looting have caused many businesses to stay shut just as many were considering re-opening amid easing COVID-19 related restrictions around country.

In March, Citigroup said it would temporarily shutter up to 15% of its U.S. branch network to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The demonstrations have also prompted executives and companies to issue statements condemning racism.

“These are extraordinarily difficult times,” Selva said. “My sincere hope is that we will all work together toward a better future.”

Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Tom Brown