NEW DELHI: US-based banking major Citigroup has decided to exit its consumer banking business in the Indian market along with that of 12 other countries. Interestingly, it was done when the group recorded its highest-ever quarterly profits. However, with this announcement, a big question arises about its possible impact on the bank’s existing customers and employees.
“While the 13 markets have excellent businesses, we don’t have the scale we need to compete. We believe our capital, investment dollars, and other resources are better deployed against higher returning opportunities in wealth management and our institutional businesses in Asia,” Citigroup’s global CEO Jane Fraser had said. In India, Citibank currently has 35 branches with 19,235 employees and a business with a balance sheet of Rs 2.18 lakh crore. It has loans and deposits worth Rs 66,507 crore and Rs 1.57 lakh crore, respectively. The bank has around 3 million retail customers.
While analysts are still analysing the rationale behind the move, it has left many consumers who were having salary accounts, or holding credit cards to wonder, what will happen to them. Ashu Khullar, CEO, Citi India said there is no immediate change to the 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,” he said. While there was no further clarity on what will happen to the customers, the officials have brushed aside any concern regarding savings.
A senior executive of the bank said, those who are having salary accounts need not be worried. “There is no need to panic. Their money is safe and if there will be any change, customers will be informed much in advance to avoid any complexities. But so far, there is no need for that,” the executive assured. Citigroup, however, will continue to run its institutional business in India.