Citigroup said today that it will close its retail business in 12 countries in Asia and Europe, including India. Citigroup is taking this step in order not to grow much more than competitors in the retail business and to focus on the asset management business.
Business Standard disclosed the company’s plans in a news report published on March 1 and stated that the largest foreign bank in India could consolidate its retail business from the country. Citigroup has been doing business in India for nearly 120 years.
After taking over as Citigroup’s newly appointed CEO Jane Fraser, the first decision was taken to cover the retail business in some countries. Citigroup had a 21 percent share in India’s credit card market in 2012, which declined to only 6 percent in 2020. Citigroup, after announcing its quarterly results, said it would consolidate its retail business from India, Australia, Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. But it said in the statement that Citigroup’s institutional customer groups would continue to serve customers in these markets.
Citigroup nowadays is conducting strategic reviews and moving out of these markets under the same. It will now focus on major property centers such as Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and London. Fraser said, “We believe in putting our capital and resources into the asset management sector with better opportunities for returns.” Fraser said there is stiff competition in markets like India. There are large private sector banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and also public sector banks like State Bank of India. All of them occupy the market and they are also technically proficient and continuously innovate in the retail sector and attract customers.
4 applications for universal bank
Four banks, including Repco Bank, Pankaj Vaishya and others and billionaire Sachin Bansal-backed Chaitanya India Fin Credit and Pravasi Bharatiya BR Shetty-backed UAE Exchange and Financial Services, have applied for the establishment of Universal Bank in India. Units that have applied for a small finance bank include Visoft Technologies, Calicut City Service Co-operative Bank, Akhil Kumar Gupta and Regional Rural Financial Services. Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal had expressed his intention to set up Universal Bank in January 2020.