Citigroup, the US-based investment banking company recently announced the closure of its consumer banking in 13 markets across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It is said to continue offering products to larger clients and institutions in these markets.
Banking operations of Citigroup will be shut in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Instead, the firm is planning to run operations from four hubs in Hong Kong, Singapore, the UAE and London
Jane Fraser, chief executive of Citigroup addressed the media and stated that the company currently does not have the scale to compete in the 13 said markets and the capital, investment and other resources are considered better when deployed against higher returning opportunities in wealth management and institutional business in the continent of Asia. “As a result of the ongoing refresh of our strategy, we have decided that we are going to double down on wealth,” she added. Fraser took over Citigroup in September 2020 and is the first woman to become the chief executive of a Wall Street bank.
In the first quarter of 2021, Citigroup reported a net income of $7.9 billion which exceeded analysts’ expectations. As the banking firm exits from key markets in Asia, rivals are set to expand in these regions. HSBC recently introduced a new venture seeking wealthy customers from China and is planning to employ 3,000 bankers in the next five years. While the US firms Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have also announced their expansions in the major markets.