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Citibank to exit consumer banking in China, 12 other markets

By JIANG XUEQING | | Updated: 2021-04-15 23:50
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Pedestrians walk past a Citi outlet in Shanghai. [Photo by Jin Rong/For China Daily]

Citibank announced on Thursday it will exit 13 international consumer banking markets, including the Chinese mainland and India, where its retail banking lacks scale. But the group said it will further strengthen corporate banking and explore new business opportunities in the Chinese mainland.

Citi will focus its global consumer banking business on four markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the United Arab Emirates.

"Citi today announced actions in our Global Consumer Bank that will enable more targeted investment to businesses where we have the competitive advantages and scale necessary to drive higher returns for shareholders,'' Citi said in a statement.

"Today's announcement does not change Citi's commitment to the Chinese mainland, which remains critical to our strategy and our growth as a global firm and it has no impact on our institutional businesses in the mainland."

Citi said it is actively exploring new business opportunities in the mainland, including pursuing the establishment of a securities company and a futures company.

Christine Lam, CEO of Citi China and president of Citibank (China) Co Ltd, said: "Citi has been strongly committed to the Chinese mainland market. Our priority is on supporting all our clients as we transition our franchise towards further opportunities to grow Citi's institutional franchise in the mainland. We will continue to assist Chinese clients to expand globally and foreign companies to tap into the vast opportunities in the mainland in support of the mainland's dual circulation strategy. We look forward to many more years of working with all our stakeholders in the mainland, serving local communities and playing an active role in supporting the mainland's ongoing financial opening-up."

Citi said it will ensure it embarks on a new chapter in the mainland in a way that protects the interests of and minimizes the impact on its customers, employees and other stakeholders.

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