The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given a nod to National Australia Bank’s proposed $880m acquisition of Citigroup’s consumer operations.
The ACCC review focused on the competition in the supply of credit cards and found that the deal would not adversely impact the competition in the market.
Citi and NAB both offer retail banking products and services such as credit cards, personal loans, wealth management and investment products, transaction and savings accounts and home loans in Australia.
ACCC Chair Rod Sims said: “NAB today is smaller in credit cards than its major bank rivals, and we don’t consider adding Citi’s card operations to NAB will materially change the level of competition.”
NAB announced the acquisition in August this year, which includes Citi’s home lending portfolio, unsecured lending business, retail deposits business, as well as private wealth management operations.
Notably, the technology systems and platforms that service these portfolios and Citigroup’s institutional business in Australia are not part of the deal.
Earlier, Citi announced plans to exit 13 retail banking markets while reporting its first-quarter results.
It plans to focus its retail banking efforts outside the US in four markets, which include Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE, and London.
Most recently, Citi announced plans to shutter its South Korean unit after attempts to divest it failed.
DBS Group and Standard Chartered are among the suitors for Citi’s retail operations in the Asian market.