Citi's Global Consumer Bank (GCB) is a global leader in banking and wealth management, the world's largest credit card issuer and a partner of choice globally to the world's most iconic brands and digital leaders. The Global Consumer Bank serves more than 110 million clients in the U.S., Mexico and Asia, spanning 19 markets.
In 2020, the Global Consumer Bank continued to execute a digital-first, client-led growth strategy while pivoting swiftly to provide value, service and support to clients and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GCB's model is distinct: digital-first capabilities complemented by a light physical footprint in leading urban markets. Our relationship banking model serves clients across the full spectrum of their needs as they borrow, pay, save, invest and protect and is supported by global assets and capabilities that are deployed locally. With a high-quality, highly digitally engaged customer base and one of the most dynamic partner ecosystems in the industry, the franchise is well positioned for where the world is headed.
In a rapidly changing landscape, the GCB intensified its focus on three strategic priorities to position the franchise for long-term growth: winning in wealth management; leading in consumer payments and lending; and driving scale through digitization and partnerships. With digital at the core of our strategy, GCB delivered double-digit growth in deposits, enhanced value propositions and provided an array of digital capabilities, garnering industry accolades for client experience. Citi was named Best Digital Bank in Asia (Euromoney), Best Digital Bank in Mexico (Global Finance) and Bank with the Most Desirable Mobile Banking Digital Money Management Features in the U.S. (Insider Intelligence).
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Citi responded quickly, enabling thousands of colleagues to work from home in a matter of weeks, with requisite training, technology and onboarding, while retaining servicing for customers.
We launched assistance programs in markets worldwide, the first large bank to do so in the U.S., while also facilitating free cashing of U.S. government stimulus checks for non-customers. We continued to serve clients safely in branches, introducing new safety measures and cleaning protocols, as well as innovative ways to serve clients remotely, such as video banking in Asia and the U.S. As COVID-19 made mobile capabilities, high-touch digital services and the human touch critical, Citi introduced new and enhanced digital and mobile capabilities and evolved product benefits across our credit card portfolios to ensure value, utility and relevance to customers.
As of December 31, 2020, Citi had assisted more than 5 million customers and small businesses worldwide with a range of assistance measures, including fee waivers and deferral of credit card minimum payments. In the U.S., as part of the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Citi funded more than $3 billion to U.S. small businesses, many in the areas hardest hit by COVID-19. Net profit earned through participation in the PPP was donated to the Citi Foundation to support community economic recovery efforts. The GCB operates approximately 2,300 branches and generated $1.1 billion in pretax earnings in 2020. At year end, the business had $345 billion in deposits, $282 billion in loans and $222 billion in assets under management.
Citi Branded Cards provides payment, credit and lending solutions to consumers and small businesses, with 54 million accounts globally. In 2020, Citi Branded Cards generated annual purchase sales of $427 billion and ended the year with a loan portfolio of $107 billion.
In 2020, we continued to evolve our value propositions, expand co-brand partnerships and provide new digital capabilities to make purchases faster, convenient and more rewarding.
In the U.S., as part of a more integrated, multi-product relationship model, we expanded our lending partnership with American Airlines, our partner of more than three decades, to include the Citi Miles AheadTM Savings Account, a new deposit product exclusively for American Airlines co-brand cardholders who reside within the U.S. but outside locations where Citi has a retail branch presence. The account provides the ability to earn more miles on everyday purchases, as well as relationship-based offers.
During an unprecedented year marked by the pandemic, we actively engaged with cardholders to ensure we met their evolving needs. In the U.S., for example, we introduced relevant points offers on the Citi Prestige® Card and expanded the $250 travel credit to include supermarket and restaurant purchases through 2021. Similarly, we introduced relevant accelerators to the Citi Premier Card, including increased rewards for supermarket and restaurant purchases, including takeout and curbside pickup. In addition, we introduced a temporary point-redemption option for U.S. cardholders by providing them with the choice to redeem cash rewards and ThankYou Points to pay the minimum due on their credit card.
We teamed up with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of food to heal communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond, on a program to support hunger relief efforts during COVID-19 while further encouraging digital banking adoption among clients. In addition, we joined with Mastercard and a nonprofit organization called Start Small Think Big to help small businesses. As a long-time partner of Global Citizen, we supported its global broadcast and digital special, One World: Together at Home, in support of the World Health Organization and regional charities working to meet immediate COVID-19 needs locally.
With physical cards rapidly digitizing, we continued to expand digital lending capabilities and point-of-sale solutions to give customers ease, convenience and choice in payments.
In the U.S., we introduced our proprietary Citi Flex Pay capabilities to American Airlines co-brand cardholders and on Amazon. Citi Flex Pay enables customers to finance purchases by converting eligible purchases into a fixed payment plan. Citi Flex Loan, a digital lending solution introduced in 2019 that enables customers to convert a portion of their credit line into a fixed rate personal loan, continued to perform well, with the average balance more than doubling.
In Asia, more than 60% of personal loans were made digitally through its Citi Quick Cash, Citi PayLite and Citi Flexibill solutions. A seamless, self-service mobile application journey, coupled with data-enabled real-time triggers, helped meet customers' borrowing needs, with lending volumes in the mobile app up 67% despite a challenging environment. Innovation remains at the forefront of our business, with the recent expansion of our Grab partnership that allows customers to obtain personal loans on the Grab app via application programming interfaces (API).
In Mexico, Citibanamex is a leader in credit cards, with strong market share, compelling value propositions, including our reward programs (ThankYou® Rewards and Premia), and market-leading promotions such as Buen Fin, which included more than 40,000 exclusive agreements with retailers and businesses.
Citi Retail Services is one of North America's largest and most experienced retail credit solution providers of private label and co-brand credit cards for retailers. The business serves 78 million customer accounts for iconic brands, including Best Buy, Exxon, Mobil, L.L.Bean, Macy's, Sears, Shell, The Home Depot and Tractor Supply Company.
In 2020, Citi Retail Services announced private label and co-brand credit card agreements with two exciting new partners—Meijer and Wayfair. Meijer is a privately owned and family-operated Midwestern retailer with more than 250 supercenters and grocery stores throughout the Midwest. Wayfair is one of the world's largest online destinations for the home, offering millions of items across home furnishings, décor, home improvement, housewares and more. Today, Citi is the consumer credit card provider to half of the top 10 U.S. ecommerce companies.
In 2020, Citi Retail Services generated purchase sales of $78 billion and ended the year with a loan portfolio of $46 billion.
With our high-tech, high-touch relationship model, Citibank serves as a trusted advisor to our retail, wealth management and small business clients at every stage of their financial journey. Through Citi's Access Account, Basic Banking, Citi Priority, Citigold® and Citigold Private Client, we offer an array of products, services and digital capabilities to clients across the full spectrum of consumer banking needs worldwide.
In the U.S., Citi continued to digitize our retail bank model to drive national scale. Citi Accelerate Savings and Citi Elevate® Checking, digital high-yield savings and checking accounts for customers outside Citi's branch footprint, helped drive robust digital deposit sales, while Citi's Access Account, a checkless bank account with no or low monthly fees, no overdraft fees and access to Citi's digital, retail and ATM channels, continued to be one of our fastest-growing products.
Citi also gave consumers a sneak preview of the Citi Plex Account by Google Pay, a new digital checking and savings account launching on Google Pay in 2021, and announced Mastercard as our network partner for the account (see the Google Plex section above for more information).
In the U.S., small business lending again exceeded $10 billion in addition to more than $3 billion administered through the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, while in Mortgage, the low rate environment drove strong origination and refinancing activity. In the U.S., Citibank, N.A. originated $24 billion in new loans in 2020.(see the Citi Supports U.S. Small Business section below for more information) Throughout the pandemic, Citi worked tirelessly to ensure that customers and small businesses felt confident that as an essential service, we were available to help them navigate this challenging time. To educate customers on the ease and convenience of digital banking, Citi introduced education campaigns, highlighting tools and capabilities available for customers to self-service as they complied with stay-at-home orders. By providing customers with quick links to set up online access, shortcuts to key digital tools and how-to videos on key features, we issued a steady stream of communications reinforcing the quick, easy nature of digital banking. These communications were incredibly well received by our customers, and we saw significant digital adoption and engagement among clients. Since the onset of COVID-19, the percentage of Retail Bank accounts opened digitally has risen to nearly 60% globally as has the use of mobile check deposits in the U.S. In Wealth Management, we continued to enhance our capabilities and invest in our offerings and digital tools to meet a wider spectrum of customer needs.
In the U.S., we launched Citi Wealth Builder, an easy-to-use, low-cost digital investment platform targeted to Citi Priority (emerging affluent) and Citigold® (affluent) clients, and introduced Citigold Private Client, a value proposition for clients with a minimum of $1 million in assets under management. Together, Citigold and Citigold Private Client clients enjoy personalized wealth management services, including dedicated wealth teams, digital planning tools, fund access, and a range of exclusive privileges, preferred pricing and benefits to affluent clients around the globe.
In Asia, investment revenues were the highest in a decade, with record net new money driven by steadfast client engagement, remote advisory services and accelerated client adoption of digital platforms throughout the pandemic. We continued to enhance the client experience, opening our largest wealth hub globally in Singapore dedicated to Citigold and Citigold Private Client clients. With more than 30,000 square feet across four floors, the Citi Wealth Hub has over 30 client advisory rooms for clients to engage with Relationship Managers, access a team of specialists, and enjoy facilities for customized lifestyle events and investment seminars.
In Mexico, Citibanamex is one of the leading and historically significant financial institutions in the country, with top brand recognition, leading market share and an extensive retail branch network complemented by rapid digital and mobile user growth.
In 2020, in a first-of-its-kind partnership, Citibanamex teamed with PepsiCo Alimentos Mexico and Amigo PAQ to advance financial inclusion by enabling access to digital financial tools and lines of credit for shopkeepers to use the CoDi® electronic payment platform, offered by Banco de México, in the Transfer Citibanamex app. The partnership is poised to redefine the way in which collections and payments are made in Mexico for small and medium-sized companies, which represent about 50% of Mexico's gross domestic product.