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July 1988 Issue [Readings]

Banking After the Big One


From “Continuity of Business—Global Nuclear War,” a chapter in the 1988 Citicorp policy manual. The manual is distributed to all bank officers.

In the event of a global nuclear war, we must assume that communication facilities around the world will be disrupted or destroyed and unavailable, and that the senior officer in each area will have to evaluate the local situation and take such action as is deemed necessary to protect the personnel and assets of Citicorp …. We shall rely on the senior officer in each area, using good judgment, to take whatever steps necessary to safeguard the lives of Citicorp’s employees and the interests of shareholders and bank depositors. Should a nuclear attack on New York City destroy our head-office buildings and rupture communications with management, the following plan will be implemented.

There will be four point-of-contact branches around the world: Geneva, Manila, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City.

In the event of nuclear destruction, the head-office plan for an alternate administrative post some distance from New York City will be put into effect by surviving officers. At that point, by whatever means then available, a communication will be directed to the first above-listed point of contact. If no response is received, the head office will endeavor to contact the next listed point of contact.

The communication forwarded to the point of contact will contain a report of the status in New York, an indication of administrative arrangements, and instructions for handling subsequent communications.

The point of contact, upon receiving such communication, will relay this information to all other overseas Citibank branches and Citicorp subsidiaries.

In the event of disruption of communication between the notified point of contact and any one or more overseas branches (provided that communication with such isolated areas is still possible), the senior officer in the geographic area in which communications are still functioning shall automatically become the officer in charge of the area.

In the event that all communications between countries are ruptured, the senior officer in each country or the officer designated in accordance with the contingency plan will assume charge.

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July 1988

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