Citigroup announced the closure of retail banking operations in 13 countries, including India and China on April 15, 2021. Citigroup announced as part of an ongoing strategic review, strategic steps in Global Consumer Banking that will enable Citi to direct investments and resources to the businesses with the greatest scale and growth potential.
Citi first entered India in 1902 and began operating in the consumer banking sector in 1985.
In Asia and EMEA, Citi will concentrate its Global Consumer Bank presence on four wealth centres: Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and London. Citi plans to exit its consumer franchises in thirteen markets in the two regions as a result.
Consumer franchises in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam are among those affected. The Institutional Clients Community at Citigroup will continue to represent clients in these markets, which are critical to the global network of Citigroup.
What prompted the closure of retail banking business?
"As a result of the ongoing refresh of our strategy, we have decided to double down on wealth," Citi CEO Jane Fraser said. In Asia and EMEA, we will only run our consumer banking franchise from four wealth centres: Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and London. This puts us in a good position to take advantage of the wealth management industry's strong growth and attractive returns across these main hubs.
"While the companies in the other 13 markets are excellent, we lack the size needed to succeed. We believe our money, investment dollars, and other resources would be better spent in Asia's wealth management and institutional businesses, where we expect higher returns," Fraser said.
Citigroup beat analysts' expectations for first-quarter profit on Thursday, thanks to solid investment banking revenue and a larger-than-expected release of loan-loss reserves.