Citigroup to exit retail banking operations in 13 countries including India and China - Here's why

American multinational investment bank and financial services Citigroup on Thursday announced that it will shut retail banking operations in 13 countries including India and China.

Citigroup on Thursday announced strategic actions in Global Consumer Banking – as part of an ongoing strategic review – which will allow Citi to direct investments and resources to the businesses where it has the greatest scale and growth potential. Citi will focus its Global Consumer Bank presence in Asia and EMEA on four wealth centers — Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and London.

The affected businesses include the consumer franchises in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Citigroup’s Institutional Clients Group will continue to serve clients in these markets, which remain important to Citi’s global network.

Jane Fraser, Citi CEO, said, “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. This positions us to capture the strong growth and attractive returns the wealth management business offers through these important hubs.

“While the other 13 markets have excellent businesses, we don’t have the scale we need to compete. 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. We will continue to update you on strategic decisions as we make them while we work to increase the returns we deliver to our shareholders,” Fraser concluded.

Citigroup Inc. reported net income for the first quarter of 2021 of $7.9 billion, or $3.62 per diluted share, on revenues of $19.3 billion. This compared to net income of $2.5 billion, or $1.06 per diluted share, on revenues of $20.7 billion for the first quarter 2020.

Revenues decreased 7% from the prior-year period, as higher revenues in Investment Banking and Equity Markets were more than offset by lower rates, the absence of prior year mark-to-market gains on loan hedges within the Institutional Clients Group (ICG), and lower card volumes in Global Consumer Banking (GCB). Net income of $7.9 billion increased significantly from the prior-year period driven by the lower cost of credit. Earnings per share of $3.62 increased significantly from the prior-year period, reflecting the increase in net income, as well as a slight decline in shares outstanding.

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