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Citibank to pull retail biz out of Korea, but no timeline set

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Citibank Korea, the South Korean unit of Citigroup, said Thursday that it would withdraw its retail business as part of its parent company’s reorganization plans for Asia.

The decision was made to streamline operations and enhance global competitiveness by focusing investments and resources on its consumer banking franchise, it said in a statement.

But the bank has not yet set a timeline or made detailed plans and will take time to conduct a thorough review, as well as hold discussions with stakeholders and regulators.

Markets that will be affected by the decision include the consumer franchises in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Korean subsidiary has been the subject of reports since February on the possibility of its withdrawal, with the lender having lost profit in recent years.

“Our priority is on supporting all our clients as we transition our franchise towards further opportunities to grow Citi’s institutional franchise in South Korea,” said Citibank Korea CEO Yoo Myung-soon.

Citi opened its first branch in Korea in 1967 and launched Citibank Korea in 2004.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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