In a major move, American banking company Citigroup announced on Thursday that it will be exiting 13 international consumer banking markets, including India and China as part of its global strategy. The company said it will focus its global consumer banking business on four markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the United Arab Emirates.
Citi India’s Chief Executive Ashu Khullar has assured that there will be no immediate impact of the decision on its employees and operations in India. “There is no immediate change to our operations and no immediate impact to our colleagues as a result of this announcement. In the interim, we will continue to serve our clients with the same care, empathy and dedication that we do today,” he told PTI.
However, the company has said that it has begun looking for a buyer, officials told Moneycontrol.com. “Citi is not closing down its consumer business here, but only exiting. There will not be any impact on the existing customers and staff in India due to this decision. We will now look for a buyer for the Indian consumer business segment and will also seek necessary regulatory approvals,” the official said.
Ashu Khullar, CEO Citi India, says there is no immediate change to their operations and no immediate impact to our colleagues as a result of their announcement to exit consumer/retail operations in 13 countries across Asia, Europe, including India.
The company offering credit cards, retail banking, home loans and wealth management has 35 branches in the country and employs approximately 4,000 people in the consumer banking business.
Citibank India currently has 2.9 million retail customers, 1.2 million bank accounts and 2.2 million credit card account holders. While the company has listed 4,000 jobs on its hiring section of the website, it is unclear whether it will be taken down after the recent decision.
Citi Chief Executive Jane Fraser said the exit from the retail markets was done where “we don’t have the scale we need to compete,” adding that the decision was a part of an effort to “double down” on wealth management, where the growth opportunities are better.
In India, Citibank’s business comprises of institutional banking services as well as offshoring or global business support from its main offices in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Gurugram.
Most of the markets being exited are in Asia, where Citigroup’s global consumer banking business at the end of 2020 had $6.5 billion in revenues, 224 retail branches and $123.9 billion in deposits.