US banking giant Citigroup closing consumer, retail operations in PH | Inquirer Business
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US banking giant Citigroup closing consumer, retail operations in PH

/ 11:05 PM April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—American banking giant Citigroup is refocusing its global operations by unwinding its consumer and retail banking businesses in several emerging markets, including the Philippines.

But Citi, one of the first foreign banks to set up shop in the country, will keep its wholesale banking operations as part of this strategic refocus.

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Seeking to direct investments and resources to businesses where it has the “greatest scale and growth potential,” Citi unveiled plans to focus its global consumer bank presence in Asia and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) on four wealth centers—Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and London.

As a result, Citi intends to exit from its consumer franchises in 13 jurisdictions, namely: Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The institutional businesses will remain in these markets.

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Citi Asia Pacific chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Babej said on Thursday (April 15) night: “Asia Pacific is an integral part of our global strategy, and a key driver of our growth and value proposition. We will continue to invest in our network across the region and deliver Citi’s unique global capabilities to clients across all our markets.”

For his part, Citi Philippines CEO and country officer Aftab Ahmed said: “There is tremendous opportunity with this strategy refresh by Citi for us to offer a uniquely differentiated value proposition to our clients as we move into a new phase of growth and transformation focusing on our institutional franchise.”

“We have been in the Philippines for over 100 years with dedicated teams and a strong client base who have contributed to our success,” said Ahmed.

“We today bank 90 percent of the top 20 largest market cap firms and over 950 multi-national companies in the Philippines. In the last year we raised over $20 billion for our Philippines clients,” Ahmed added.

“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 as we do today.”

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TAGS: Banking, Business, Citibank, consumer, economy
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