For Immediate Release
Citigroup Inc.
February 16, 2012

Citibank Launches New Value Proposition for Emerging Affluent Clients in Malaysia


New and improved services address specific customer needs

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Citibank aims to capture about 10 percent of the emerging affluent market share in Malaysia over the next four years with the launch of a new and improved comprehensive set of services tailored for its emerging affluent consumer banking clients. In Malaysia, the emerging affluent market comprises some 1.2 million individuals with an annual income of RM48,000 to RM180,000 or equivalent investible assets.

It is estimated that in Malaysia, these clients account for 15 percent to 20 percent of the total consumer financial services revenue pool (or $1 billion to $1.5 billion of the $7 billion market), and revenues from the segment are growing at 10 to 15 percent per annum.*

To develop Citibank’s new emerging affluent value proposition, extensive research was conducted across seven Asian markets, including Malaysia. The research focused on clients’ banking preferences, financial needs and lifestyles. In Malaysia, 150 individuals were surveyed online, and extensive focus groups were also conducted. The research revealed that Malaysian emerging affluent consumers are:

  • Increasingly adopting new technologies and seeking the best digital banking services – 88 percent wanted a bank with the best online services, and 81 percent agreed technology simplifies their life. Some 75 percent wanted to manage their accounts through their mobile phones, and 68 percent said that if they had a choice, they would prefer not to go to a bank branch to do their banking.
  • Leading increasingly busy lifestyles, and as such, expected more convenience and responsiveness from their bank – 81 percent wanted a bank that never made them wait in a queue, and 80 percent said it was very important to have products and services delivered immediately. Some 73 percent wanted a bank that could provide all financial services under one roof.
  • Proactively seek high quality financial advice to help them plan for the future – To grow their wealth, 54 percent admitted they are confused by the large number of investment options in the market, while 57 percent said they lacked sufficient knowledge. Also, 68 percent worried about their financial futures, and 61 percent wanted a bank that helped them plan for the future.
  • Increasingly global in their outlook - work, travel and investments – 82 percent surveyed had travelled abroad for business or leisure in the last 12 months, and 77 percent of customers wanted to access their bank and cash anywhere in the world.

The launch in Malaysia is an integral part of Citibank’s strategy to serve clients across the entire wealth continuum, giving each segment a customized proposition as they grow in wealth and sophistication of financial needs.

“We understand that the emerging affluent segment is one that is growing and is very aspirational. This segment continues to challenge the way traditional banking is conducted and increasingly want a bank that values their time, makes things easier for them and addresses their needs, immediately, locally and globally,” said Fabio Fontainha, Consumer Markets Head for Citibank Berhad.

“With the launch of our new value proposition, we want to provide customers with increased convenience and responsiveness, a full suite of global banking services and personalized products to meet their financial needs, in addition to allowing them to share the benefits that come with a global banking partner,” he added.

Key details of the new value proposition include:

  1. Increased convenience and responsiveness – 24-hour electronic chat or e-chat service to customers (a first by a financial institution in Malaysia) and a “Call Me” service especially useful for travelling customers who can request a call back from Citibank anytime, anywhere in the world. In addition, customers enjoy 24/7 phone banking service with rapid 20 seconds pick-up by Citiphone officers; and access to over 11,000 MEPS ATM networks to withdraw cash, check balance, transfer and pay credit card and mortgage bills.
  2. Full suite of Global Banking service for all clients – Free overseas cash withdrawal at 20,000 Citibank ATMs, free instant funds transfers to Citibank accounts worldwide (Citi Global Transfers), free account opening assistance for clients relocating overseas, consolidated view of multiple Citibank accounts overseas (Global View of Accounts), and emergency cash overseas.
  3. Personalized products and services – Clients with minimum balances of RM50,000 will receive a dedicated personal banker as a single point of contact to support with wealth planning and will receive preferential pricing and benefits on selected services. Additionally, Citibank is launching, a new i-Wealth Goal Planner to allow consumers to calculate their wealth and understand their current financial needs.

“The emerging affluent segment is a top priority for Citibank across Asia. Emerging affluent people are well educated, upwardly mobile, and early adopters of technology. They are very focused on their personal and financial futures and have high expectations for themselves and for their banks. Our new value proposition seeks to deliver a distinctly higher level of service to support all of their banking needs and asks clients to “rethink” the way they bank and to aspire to higher standards,” said Daniel Baranowski, Head of the Emerging Affluent Segment for Citi in Asia Pacific.

*McKinsey, Citibank Analysis

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides 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, transaction services, and wealth management.

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