New York Citi today announced that it will wind down its consumer banking business in Korea as part of the strategic actions the bank is taking to refocus its Global Consumer Bank presence in Asia and EMEA on four wealth centers—Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and London—and pursue exits from its consumer franchises in 13 markets across the two regions. Even with the wind-down, the exits from these consumer franchises are accretive to capital and are still expected to release approximately $7 billion of allocated tangible common equity over time, $2 billion of which is related to the Korea wind-down.
Across its remaining consumer markets in the regions, Citi is pursuing options including consumer franchise sales, with a focus on optimal results for its people, clients and shareholders. Conversations with potential buyers continue with strong interest from a broad range of bidders.
“We continue to make progress on our strategy refresh, allowing us to increase the capital we return to our shareholders over time,” said Mark Mason, Citi’s Chief Financial Officer. “In Asia and EMEA, we will focus our resources on higher-returning institutional businesses and double down in wealth, where we have distinct competitive advantages and meaningful potential for growth.”
An amendment to the recently filed Form 8-K Current Report will be filed in connection with the wind-down plan as soon as Citi is able to reasonably estimate the wind-down and related charges consisting of voluntary termination benefits and related costs.
The decision to wind down consumer operations in Korea received all necessary Board approvals. Citi Korea Inc will work closely with regulators during the process to ensure minimal inconvenience for clients. Citi Korea Inc will provide its services without interruption for existing contracts until expiration or termination of those contracts, while new sales for all consumer banking products will be stopped.
Citi will continue to contribute to the development of the Korean financial market as it invests in and grows its market-leading Institutional franchise in the country. Citi Korea’s institutional business provides a comprehensive range of investment and banking services to corporates, banks, governments and institutional investors in Korea including capital markets and corporate advisory.
Certain statements in this release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. These statements are not guarantees of future results or occurrences. Actual results and capital and other financial condition may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors. These factors include, among others, the successful wind down and closure of the Korea consumer banking business, including within the expected timeframe, macroeconomic and local market conditions, consumer preferences, and the precautionary statements included in this release. These factors also consist of those contained in Citi’s filings with the SEC, including without limitation the “Risk Factors” section of Citi’s 2020 Form 10-K. Any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of Citi speak only as to the date they are made, and Citi does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect the impact of circumstances or events that arise after the date the forward-looking statements were made.
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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