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aws全区号(www.2km.me)_Citigroup to exit its biggest branch network

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A Banco Nacional de Mexico SA (Banamex) Citibanamex bank branch in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Citigroup Inc. is planning to exit retail-banking operations in Mexico, where it has its largest branch network in the world, as part of Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser’s continued push to overhaul the firm’s strategy.

NEW YORK: Citigroup Inc is planning to exit retail-banking operations in Mexico – where it has its largest branch network in the world - as part of chief executive officer Jane Fraser’s continued push to overhaul the firm’s strategy.The lender will keep its institutional businesses in the country, according to a filing. The exit could ultimately take the form of a sale or a public-market alternative, and will be subject to regulatory approval, Citigroup said.

“Mexico is a priority market for Citi – that will not change,” Fraser said in a separate statement.

“The decision to exit the consumer, small-business and middle-market banking businesses in Mexico is fully aligned with the principles of our strategy refresh.”

The move comes after Fraser last year announced she would exit 13 markets across Asia and Europe as part of her push to simplify Citigroup and focus on more-lucrative businesses. The units included in the intended exit in Mexico have about US$44bil (RM184bil) in assets and take up about US$4bil (RM16.7bil) in average allocated tangible common equity.

Citigroup shares rose nearly 1% in late trading in New York following the announcement. They have advanced 1% in the last 12 months compared with the 34% gain of the 67-company S&P 500 Financials Index.

Citigroup in 2001 agreed to pay US$12.5bil (RM52bil) for what was then known as Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival, Mexico’s second-largest bank at the time. Over the years, the unit has come under scrutiny after the lender reported several incidents of fraud within the division.

Investors have long pushed executives at the bank to look into exiting the consumer-focused operations in Mexico, where it now does business as Citibanamex.

But Citigroup has stood by its decision to operate a sprawling branch network and offer consumer and small-business services in the country. In 2016, the firm announced it would invest more than US$1bil (RM4.21bil) in the unit over four years. — Bloomberg

Even as recently as last year, when Citigroup announced it would exit retail banking operations in Asia and Europe, Fraser offered praise for the business.

“Look, Mexico is a scaled franchise, when I compare Mexico to our Asian consumer franchise, they really benefit from the scale,” Fraser said in April. “The returns are good and there’s a lot of upside potential and the investments in digitisation have really paid off. So while the country is going through a very challenging time at the moment, there’s a lot to like in the franchise over the longer term.”

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