After more than a century of presence in Mexico, the US bank Citigroup announced on Tuesday its intention to end its commercial banking operations in the country. The firm will stop operating its consumer banking business and for small and medium-sized companies in the country. The largest financial services company based in New York has specified in writing that this decision reflects its intention to focus its consumer banking business on global wealth, as well as payments and loans and a specific retail presence in the United States.
With this announcement, the corporate leaves behind its largest branch network in the world. “Mexico is a priority market for Citi, that will not change. We expect Mexico to be an important recipient of investment and global trade flows in the coming years, and we are confident in the country’s trajectory. Citi is uniquely positioned to support cross-border capital markets activity and trade flows in and out of Mexico for our institutional clients and we will continue to make significant investments in our institutional operations and our leading market hub there, ”he said. Citi CEO Jane Fraser in a statement.
The board indicated that the decision to exit the business of consumer banking, small and medium-sized companies in Mexico is completely aligned with the principles of updating its corporate strategy. “We will be able to direct our resources to opportunities aligned with our core strengths and competitive advantages, focus on businesses that benefit from connectivity to our global network and we will further simplify our bank,” he added.
Fraser had already announced last year that it would exit 13 markets in Asia and Europe as part of its drive to simplify Citigroup and focus on more lucrative businesses. The executive director of the firm took over the reins of the US bank last February after a long career in the financial sector. In 2008, after the housing bubble burst, he was part of the team tasked with restructuring the bank. Six years later, in 2014, she was appointed slim advisor for Latin America and had in her hands the mission of redirecting Banamex, the Mexican subsidiary of Citigroup and before assuming the presidency of Citigroup she was the global head of consumer banking.
The US corporate assured that it will continue to operate its banking business with a local license in Mexico, the second largest economy in Latin America, through a group of global institutional clients. According to agencies, Citigroup’s exit from retail banking in the country could eventually take the form of a sale or a public market alternative, and will be subject to regulatory approval.
“The updating of the strategy that Citi has undertaken will result in a stronger and more focused bank. We will execute a consumer-driven strategy, double the wealth and focus on our highest performing institutional businesses where we have competitive advantages, ”Citigroup CFO Mark Mason elaborated in writing.
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