The Borneo Post (Sabah)
Citigroup to exit Malaysia, 12 other consumer banking markets
KUALA LUMPUR: Citigroup Inc intends to exit from its consumer franchises in 13 markets, including Malaysia.
In a statement, chief executive officer (CEO) Jane Fraser said the bank would operate the consumer banking franchise in Asia and Europe, the Middle East and Africa solely from Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London.
“This positions us to capture the strong growth and a ractive returns the wealth management business offers through these important hubs.
“While the other 13 markets have excellent businesses, we do not have the scale needed to compete,” she said, adding that the 12 other affected businesses include consumer franchises in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Fraser also said the bank’s capital, investment dollars and other resources are be er deployed against higher returning opportunities in wealth management and its institutional businesses in Asia.
“Citigroup’s institutional clients’ group will continue to serve in these markets, which remain important to Citi’s global network,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Citi Malaysia CEO Usman Ahmed commented that Citi has been in Malaysia for over 60 years and today’s global announcement does not in any way dilute its long-term commitment to Malaysia or the Asia- Pacific region.
“With this strategic repositioning, we will be able to further invest our resources in significantly growing institutional business in Malaysia.
“In addition, our Citi solutions centres in Kuala Lumpur and Penang also remained an equally important operations hub for Citi, from where we execute millions of financial transactions worth over US$29 trillion (US$1=RM4.12) annually for over 50 countries across the globe,” he said.
Usman added that there would be no immediate change to operations and staffing requirements as a result of the announcement. For the first quarter of 2021, the group reported a net income of US$7.9 billion or US$3.62 per diluted share on revenues of US$19.3 billion.
The group reported a net income of US$2.5 billion, or US$1.06 per diluted share, on revenues of US$20.7 billion for the first quarter of last year.
Fraser said the group’s capital levels also remained strong and stable, allowing the bank to respond to the needs of its clients and return capital to its shareholders.
“We reported a record net income driven by strong performance in our institutional clients’ group and a significant release from our allowance for credit losses, as a result of the improving economic outlook.
“While global consumer banking revenues were down quarterover-quarter as a result of the pandemic, this is the healthiest we have seen the consumer emerge from a crisis in recent history,” she said. — Bernama