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Citi exits retail banking in Philippines, 12 other markets
Aftab Ahmed, chief executive officer and country officer at Citi Philippines, said the strategic action in global consumer banking would have no immediate change in the bank’s operations in the country.
STAR/ File

Citi exits retail banking in Philippines, 12 other markets

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - April 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — New York-based Citigroup Inc. plans to exit retail banking in the Philippines and 12 other markets in Asia as well as  Europe, Middle East and Africa  as it opted to focus its global consumer bank presence in Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and London.

Aftab Ahmed, chief executive officer and country officer at Citi Philippines, said the strategic action in global consumer banking would have no immediate change in the bank’s operations in the country.

“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,” Ahmed said.

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

The American banking giant is keeping its wholesale banking operations as part of the strategic refocus. Citi Philippines’ Institutional Clients Group is a recognized leader in arranging and providing financial services for the public sector, top-tier Filipino corporates, multinationals, and financial institutions operating in the country.

It offers innovative end-to-end cash management solutions, trade finance and services, securities custody and funds services, corporate banking and advisory services, and the most comprehensive and sophisticated range of treasury products in fixed income, currencies, commodities, and derivatives.

Citi Philippines helped raise over $20 billion for clients in the country. It provides domestic debt and equity underwriting and financial advisory services through Citicorp Capital Philippines Inc.

“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,” Ahmed said.

Latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed Citi Philippines is the 12th largest lender in the Philippines in terms of assets with P331.32 billion and 18th in terms of capital with P14.74 billion in   2020.

It ranked 14th in terms of deposits with P214.74 billion and 12th in terms of loans and receivables with P214.99 billion. The group employs around 8,500 in the country. It provides corporate banking, treasury, transactional banking and consumer banking services.

Citi Philippines’ Global Consumer Banking business includes full-service Citibank branches, offering retail loans and deposits, consumer branch services, and lifestyle convenience products and services such as credit cards and the Citigold Wealth Management banking.

Aside from the Philippines Citi is pursuing exits from its consumer franchises in 12 other markets including Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Taiwan.

Citi CEO Jane Fraser said the ongoing refresh would allow the bank to direct investments and resources where it has greatest scale and growth potential.

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

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