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Citigroup has announced its plans to close its consumer and commercial banking units in Russia commencing this quarter.

With this move, the lender expects to incur around $170m in charges over the next 18 months.

In April 2021, Citi announced its plan to close consumer banking unit in Russia as part of its international strategic refresh to exit consumer franchises in 14 markets in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Mexico.

In March this year, Citi widened the scope of its planned exit in Russia to include local commercial banking, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, it has not been able to scout a buyer for either of the business.

This move will impact around 2,300 out of 3,000 Citi employees in Russia across 15 branches, the bank stated.

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By GlobalData

Citi has joined a list of several other Wall Street firms that closed or announced plans to shut operations in Russia, in line with Western sanctions, reported Reuters.

Citi legacy franchises CEO Titi Cole said: “We have explored multiple strategic options to sell these businesses over the past several months. It’s clear that the wind-down path makes the most sense given the many complicating factors in the environment. We are focused on supporting our impacted colleagues, clients and partners during this period of transition.”

Citi Europe, Middle East and Africa CEO David Livingstone said: “The decision is part of our continuing efforts to reduce our activities in Russia. It is aligned with other actions, including limiting our service offering, reducing our exposures, and not soliciting any new business or clients.”

At the end of Q2 2022, Citi’s remaining exposure to Russia stood at $8.4bn, a drop from $9.8bn at year-end of 2021. Of this, around $1bn is associated with the consumer and local commercial banking businesses in Russia.