Citigroup announced Thursday, 15 April, that it will exit 13 international consumer banking markets, and shift their focus towards wealth management in place of small retail banking markets.
Citigroup will focus its global consumer banking business on four markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the United Arab Emirates, departing markets from China, India and 11 other retail markets.
As per Citi Chief Executive Jane Fraser, they "don't have the scale they need to compete" in these regions.
Fraser further described the decision as part of an effort to "double down" on wealth management, where the growth opportunities are better.
Most of the markets being left are in Asia. This is where Citigroup's global consumer banking business had $6.5 billion in revenues after 2020, 224 retail branches and $123.9 billion in deposits.
The move came as Citigroup reported first-quarter profits of $7.9 billion, more than three times the level in the period year-ago. Revenues fell seven percent to $19.3 billion.
As with other large banks, Citigroup's profits were strengthened by its performance in its investment banking and trading businesses, as well as the releasing of reserves which were to be used for unfavourable loans.
These benefits were cancelled out somewhat by the bank's low interest rates.
The other 11 markets as part of the decision are Australia, Bahrain, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.