Singapore – Citibank Singapore Ltd's commitment towards growing its distribution footprint in Singapore and continued emphasis on innovation has won it the "Best Retail Bank in Singapore" Award from The Asian Banker for the first time.
In awarding the accolade to Citibank Singapore for its performance in 2007, The Asian Banker pointed to its sustained distribution push, its market-leading Citigold franchise and its innovative products and services – all of which have made it stand out among the competition.
"Citibank Singapore combined global leverage with a partnership-driven push into the Singapore heartlands to give the bank the decisive edge over some very competent rivals," noted The Asian Banker. The company provides strategic business intelligence to the financial services community in the region and its flagship publication, The Asian Banker Journal, is the leading commentator on developments in the Asia Pacific's financial services industry.
In addition, The Asian Banker said that Citibank Singapore's success was underpinned by its "remarkable growth in fee income and net profit".
Citibank Singapore's Country Business Manager and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Larsen said, "We are delighted with this win, which is a strong endorsement of our relentless drive towards expanding our distribution points and broadening our franchise to offer more choices to our customers.
"This award, coming on the back of being named Best Bank in Singapore by Euromoney in 2007, is recognition of the immense headway that we are making. Ensuring that our world-class products and services are accessible to more Singaporeans and delivering innovative solutions that meet their needs and goals continues to be a top priority for us."
For the financial year ended December 31, 2007, Citibank Singapore reported a record net profit of S$683.5 million, up 35.3% from S$505.2 million in 2006.
Net interest income grew 21.1% from S$568.1 million in 2006 to S$688.2 million while fee and commission income jumped 45.2% from S$318.2 million in 2006 to S$462.0 million, supported by a strong performance in wealth management including investments and insurance.
Citibank Singapore continued to extend its distribution in 2007 as part of a wider expansion strategy into the heartlands. Total customer touch-points grew from 500 in 2006 to more than 800 by end 2007 and included 16 branches, 125 Citibank ATMs island-wide at 78 proprietary Citibank locations and 47 SMRT stations, and more than 440 Citibank-AXS terminals.
At present, the bank has 19 branches, nine of which are on its SMRT branch network including two recently opened branches at City Hall and Boon Lay SMRT Stations. It also opened the state-of-the-art Citigold Select Center at Paragon in February, catering to high net worth individuals.
Additionally, the bank last year launched several new and innovative products including Singapore's first $500 credit card and Singapore's first three-in-one debit card with EZ-Link functionality.
The "Best Retail Bank in Singapore" award that Citibank Singapore won is part of The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2008, an event which recognizes the region's best in the industry for their efforts in bringing superior products and services to their customers.
Over 150 banks and financial institutions in 23 countries across the Asian region were evaluated under the Excellence in Retail Financial Services program.
The award evaluation process assesses the strength of individual banks' retail banking businesses using extensive research and interviews and incorporates an AC Nielsen customer perception survey to gauge the strength and reputation of retail banks in the different countries.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citi’s major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Nikko. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.