Consumer Banking Business In 13 Markets In Asia Pacific To Be Exited By Citigroup

Its consumer banking operations in 13 markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East will be closed down by Citigroup, the company has said.

Instead of having separate operations in these identified markets, its four hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London will be used to run these operations, said the United States based banking group.

The bank will however continue to target the larger clients and institutions in these markets with its financial products.

The bank “does not have the scale” to compete in these 13 markets, said the chief executive of the bank Jane Fraser.

The 13 national markets where the bank will shut down its consumer banking operations are Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

This decision was taken by the bank because of a refreshed strategy that has been adopted by it Fraser said, and added that it involves the bank deciding to put much greater focus on the wealthy customers of the region. “We will operate our consumer banking franchise in Asia and EMEA solely from four wealth centres, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE and London,” Fraser said in a statement.

Fraser was appointed as the company’s CEO in September last year in a historic appointment as she became the first women to have been made the chief executive of a Wall Street bank.

The bank does not have the scale to compete in these 13 markets even though all of these 13 markets have excellent businesses opportunities, Fraser said. The bank is of the opinion that the higher returning opportunities in wealth management and our institutional businesses in Asia are the areas that the bank should target and deploy its capital, investment dollars and other resources, she added.

For the first three months of 2021m net income of $7.9bn was reported by Citi earlier this week which easily beat expectations of analysts.

And even though the US based global banking group is exiting these markets in Asia, its rivals are already in expansion mode in these markets. A new venture has been started by HSBC that will target the wealthy customers in China and has set out plans and a strategy for hiring more than 3,000 bankers for this purpose over the next five years.

Strategies for expansion of their business in China have also been announced by US banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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