Citibank Shuts Retail Banking Operations in India; Looks For A Buyer; No Impact For Existing Customers, Employees Due To Exit


Citibank has begun looking for a buyer for its consumer business in India after exiting the segment as part of a global business strategy in 13 markets.


Citigroup announced on April 15 that it would shutter retail banking operations in 13 countries, including India and China.

The American multinational investment bank and financial services company has said that it will exit consumer/retail operations in 13 countries across Asia and Europe.


The 13 nations Citibank (the largest foreign bank in India) will pull out from are Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Notably, Citigroup’s Institutional Clients Group will continue to serve clients in the markets ending consumer operations.


Commenting on the move that will allow Citi to direct investments and resources to businesses where it has greater scale and growth potential, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser said: “Citigroup lacked the scale to compete in the 13 markets it is leaving properly.”

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

“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,” she added.

When the sale happens, there will be no impact on existing customers and staff in India, said a Citibank official to Moneycontrol on Thursday.

“Citi is not closing down its consumer business here, but only exiting. There will not be any impact on the existing customers and staff in India due to this decision. We will now look for a buyer for the Indian consumer business segment and will also seek necessary regulatory approvals,” said the official on the condition of anonymity.

Citi will continue to focus on the wholesale business in India, the official said. “We will invest more in this segment,” the official added. Citigroup announced on April 15 that it would shutter retail banking operations in 13 countries, including India and China.

The American multinational investment bank and financial services company has said that it will exit consumer/retail operations in 13 countries across Asia and Europe. The 13 nations Citibank will pull out from are Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Notably, investment banking operations will continue in markets where the company is ending consumer operations.

As of March 2020, Citibank in India has 2.9 million retail customers with 1.2 million bank accounts and 2.2 million credit card accounts. Citibank has 35 branches in India, which employs over 19,000 people.

In a separate statement, Ashu Khullar, CEO of Citi India, said that Citi has been “a deeply imbedded institution in India and the sharpened strategy announced today will strengthen our ability to bring the full global power of Citi to our institutional clients, reinforcing our leading positions across Corporate, Commercial and Investment Banking, Treasury and Trade Solutions, as well as Markets and Securities Services.”

“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. There is no immediate change to our operations and no immediate impact on our colleagues due to this announcement. In the interim, we will continue to serve our clients with the same care, empathy, and dedication that we do today,” Khullar said.

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