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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

UnionBank to acquire Citigroup’s consumer banking business in PH

Manila, Philippines — UnionBank, the seventh-largest publicly-listed bank in the Philippines, has announced that it will now be acquiring Citigroup’s (Citi) consumer banking business in the country. 

In April this year, Citi shut down its consumer business in the country, including 12 other markets such as Australia, China, India, and Indonesia to move the focus to its Institutional Clients Group. For the acquisition, UnionBank said it has entered into a ‘share and business transfer agreement’ with various subsidiaries of Citi.

UnionBank’s transactions will now include Citi’s credit card, personal loans, wealth management, and retail deposit businesses. The acquisition also includes Citi’s real estate interests in relation to Citibank Square in Eastwood, 3 full-service bank branches, 5 wealth centers, and 2 bank branch offices.

Erramon Isidro Aboitiz, UnionBank’s chairman, said that the acquisition further cements its position as a leading bank in the Philippines, and will help fast-track its growth aspirations in the retail banking segment.

Meanwhile, Edwin Bautista, UnionBank’s president and chief executive officer, commented that they look forward to leapfrogging their credit card business and significantly expanding their banking business in the higher-end segment of the consumer market.

“As we embark on this journey, we are committed to retaining all of Citi’s key talents and upholding the superior customer experience that Citi has delivered to its customers over the years,” said Bautista.

UnionBank said that Citi will continue to operate its consumer banking business in the Philippines until the completion of the acquisition, which is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Moreover, approximately 1,750 Citi employees, including senior management, are expected to join UnionBank next year.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Citigroup to end consumer business in 10 APAC markets including PH, MY, VT

USA – New York-headquartered global financial services giant Citigroup has recently announced that it will be pursuing exits from its consumer franchises in 13 markets, where 10 come from the Asia Pacific region. 

In its latest financial results for the first quarter of the year, Citigroup revealed that as part of its strategic actions for its global consumer banking, it has now decided to direct its focus to just four markets in Asia and EMEA, namely, Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE, and London. As a result of this, it is marking the end of its consumer business in all the other markets in the two regions which include APAC units in Australia, China, India, and Indonesia as well as Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and in Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, in EMEA, it will be exiting Bahrain, Poland, and Russia. 

Citigroup said that while this is the case, its Institutional Clients Group will continue to serve clients in the said markets, which remain important to Citi’s global network. The company said the move will allow Citi to direct investments and resources to businesses where it has the greatest scale and growth potential.

Its CEO, Jane Fraser, said that the ongoing refresh of the company’s strategy pushes them to double down on wealth. The markets it retained, she continued, positions the company to capture strong growth and attractive returns the wealth management business offers through the four important hubs.

“While the other 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,” said Fraser. 

For the first quarter of 2021, Citigroup reported a net income of $7.9B, a jump compared to its net income of $2.5B in the same period in 2020.

“It’s been a better than expected start to the year, and we are optimistic about the macro environment. We are committed to serving our clients through the recovery and positioning the bank for a period of sustained growth,” said Fraser.