Citigroup To Quit Consumer Banking in Thirteen Markets

Citigroup is closing its consumer banking operations in 13 markets across Asia, Europe, and therefore the Middle East.

The US banking group will instead run these operations from four hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and London.

It will still offer products to larger clients and institutions in these markets.

Its chief executive Jane Fraser said it “does not have the scale” to compete in these 13 markets.

Citigroup will pack up consumer banking operations in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“As a result of the ongoing refresh of our strategy, we have decided that we are going to double down on wealth. We will operate our consumer banking franchise in Asia and EMEA solely from four wealth centers, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, and London,” Ms. Fraser said in a statement.

Ms. Fraser took over Citi in September last year – the primary woman to become chief executive of a Wall Street bank.

“While the opposite 13 markets have excellent businesses, we do not have the size we’d like to compete,” she added. “We believe our capital, investment dollars, and other resources are better deployed against higher returning opportunities in wealth management and our institutional businesses in Asia.”

On Thursday, Citi reported a net income of $7.9bn (£5.7bn) for the first three months of 2021, beating analysts’ expectations.

While the banking group could also be exiting key markets in Asia, rivals are expanding within the region.

HSBC features a new venture to hunt out wealthy customers in China and is employing 3,000 bankers over subsequent five years

US firms Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have also said they are expanding operations in China.

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