- Citi will wind down its consumer-banking operations in China, the bank said Thursday.
- The wind-down is expected to affect roughly 1,200 employees in the country — although Citi said it would “explore options” for workers wishing to stay on at the bank in China or its global network, according to a press release.
- Citi does not expect the wind-down’s cost to be material to the bank’s results or its larger strategy refresh, it said.
Leaving China would mean Citi has an exit strategy in place for 12 of the 13 markets from which it said in April 2021 it would retreat. Poland is the exception.
Citi added two markets to its exit list this year, however: Mexico and the U.K. — though the latter may have remained merely a proposal, as official releases from Citi don’t mention it as part of the larger withdrawal strategy.
China would be the third market in which Citi has chosen a wind-down over the past 14 months. The bank opted to wind down its South Korea operations in October 2021 and incur related charges of between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion. Citi also chose to wind down its consumer-banking and local commercial-banking operations in Russia in August — a move expected to carry a $170 million price tag over 18 months.
“While we explored multiple strategic options for our China consumer business over the past several months, we believe that this path makes the most sense and we are focused on a seamless transition for our clients, partners and colleagues,” Titi Cole, Citi’s CEO for legacy franchises, said Thursday in a statement.
The China exit is expected to affect consumer deposits, insurance, mortgages, investments, loans, and cards. But as has been typical in recent market retreats by banks, Citi has pledged to its wealth-management and corporate clients.
“Citi will work closely with stakeholders during the process and ensure minimal inconvenience for clients,” the bank said Thursday.