American investment banking company Citigroup on Thursday announced that will close retail banking operations in 13 countries, including India, to focus on wealth management.
Apart from India, the company plans to exit from Australia, Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Citi will focus its Global Consumer Bank presence on four wealth centers – Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE [United Arab Emirates] and London,” the company’s statement read.
Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser said that the new strategy would help the company capture “strong growth and attractive returns the wealth management business offers through these important hubs”.
Fraser added that Citigroup did not have the scale required to compete in the markets it was exiting. “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,” she said. “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.”
Citi India Chief Executive Officer Ashu Khullar told Business Today that the decision will not have an immediate impact on the company’s operations and staff members in the country. “India is a strategic talent hub for Citi,” Khullar said. “We will continue to tap into the rich talent pool available here to continue to grow our five Citi Solution Centers which support our global footprint.”
Citigroup on Thursday announced first-quarter profits of $7.9 billion, which more than three times its income in same period in 2020.