Citibank moves to scrap certain Venezuelan accounts

Hayley Kirton
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Nicolas Maduro has slammed the move as a "financial blockade" (Source: Getty)

Citibank is shutting down certain accounts in Venezuela, much to the chagrin of the country's president.

In a speech yesterday, President Nicolas Maduro slammed the move, which would see his government's foreign currency accounts closed within a month.

"With no warning, Citibank says that in 30 days it will close the Central Bank and the Bank of Venezuela's accounts," Maduro said, according to Reuters.

Maduro continued: "Do you think they're going to stop us with a financial blockade? No, gentlemen. Noone stops Venezuela."

Today, Citi issued a statement confirming that it would be closing the doors on certain accounts in country.

Read more: Venezuela’s inevitable and miserable descent

"Following a periodic risk management review in Venezuela, Citi has decided to discontinue correspondent banking and the servicing of certain accounts in the country," read the statement. "This decision is not a reflection of our commitment to a country we have served for almost 100 years. We value our dialogue with the President's administration and hope to address its concerns in the interest of continuing to serve our clients."

It would be fair to say that Venezuela has run into a number of financial issues as of late, as the oil rich nation has struggled to navigate its way through low oil prices. Meanwhile, Maduro, and his predecessor the late Hugo Chavez, have come under fire for their socialist policies.

Read more: How socialism destroyed Venezuela

Earlier this month, the country struggled to make a payment for 2m barrels of oil, leaving the cargo floating on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.

And, in April, public sector workers had their working week chopped down to two days in a bid to tackle a power crisis in the country.

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