American banking giant Citigroup is reportedly planning to divest some of its international retail banking units across the Asia-Pacific region.
The plan is part of the bank’s incoming CEO Jane Fraser’s plan to simply the group’s operations.
According to Bloomberg, the company is looking to divest ‘certain units across retail banking’ in South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia.
The report highlighted that the bank’s customers rarely use its over 224 branches in these regions.
The bank will look for potential buyers among local banks in these countries.
However, the final decision has not been made, and there is a possibility that the company may keep all its international operation active, Bloomberg quoted undisclosed sources as saying.
Citi has over 16 million credit-card accounts and around 400,000 wealth management customers in the Asia-Pacific region.
Also, its consumer business operations span across 17 markets, including 12 in Asia-Pacific, five in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The report added that the group also studying possible sale of operations in Mexico, which is less likely as it has the second-largest bank in the country and has Citigroup’s largest branch network.
Last year, Citigroup’s consumer operations across Asia and Mexico valued at $161bn, which equals 40% of its consumer bank earnings.
Citigroup spokeswoman Jennifer Lowney said: “As our incoming CEO Jane Fraser said in January, we are undertaking a dispassionate and thorough review of our strategy, including our mix of businesses and how they fit together.”
“As you would expect, many different options are being considered, and we will take the right amount of time before making any decisions.”
However, the company is planning to keep its wealth management activities in the Asia region active and recently opened its largest wealth advisory unit in Singapore.
Accordingly, Citigroup is also looking to set up an investment banking unit in China and aim to achieve double-digit growth in the region’s wealth market share.