Citi to exit consumer banking biz in India; to focus on institutional segment

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Mumbai, Apr 15 (PTI) American banking major Citibank on Thursday announced exiting the high visibility consumer banking business in India as part of a global strategy.

The consumer banking business comprises credit cards, retail banking, home loans and wealth management. The bank will be exiting the segment in India after more than three decades.

The bank has 35 branches in the country and employs approximately 4,000 people in the consumer banking business.

On Thursday, the bank announced exiting from the consumer banking businesses in 13 countries, with its global CEO Jane Fraser attributing the decision to an absence of scale to compete in these geographies.

Contours of the exit were not immediately known and the proposed exit from the consumer banking business will also need regulatory approvals.

'There is no immediate change to our operations and no immediate impact to our colleagues as a result of this announcement. In the interim, we will continue to serve our clients with the same care, empathy and dedication that we do today,' Citi India's Chief Executive Ashu Khullar said.

'… 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,' he added.

Citi had entered India in 1902 and started the consumer banking business in 1985.

From a social perspective, the consumer bank had extended loans of Rs 27,911 crore to agriculture, affordable housing, renewable energy and MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) as of March 2020.

Of that amount, Rs 4,975 crore was extended to weaker sections as part of Citibank India's priority sector lending obligations, as per a release issued by the bank last year.

Apart from the institutional banking business, it will continue to focus on offshoring or global business support rendered from centres in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Gurugram.

Khullar said India is a strategic talent pool for Citi and it will continue to grow the five 'Citi Solution Centers'.

At present, there are postings for 4,000 jobs at the solution centres posted on its hiring website, officials said.

Citi had reported a post-tax net of Rs 4,912 crore for FY20 as against Rs 4,185 crore in the previous fiscal.

Its retail bank serves people across the spectrum, including the salaried to the high net individuals, through dedicated offerings. PTI AA RAM