Companies Markets

Citigroup maps out growth of business banking throughout Africa


CITIGROUP has been pulling again retail operations from broad swaths of the globe, however its business banking enterprise is discovering new areas for growth.

The US lender is beginning business banking companies in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt to benefit from the presence of worldwide companies in these nations, Ebru Pakcan, chief government officer (CEO) of Citigroup’s EMEA rising markets cluster, mentioned in an interview in Dubai.

The push into a few of Africa’s greatest economies echoes the financial institution’s efforts in nations akin to Australia, the place it arrange a commercial-banking enterprise in 2019.

Below CEO Jane Fraser, who took over final March, Citigroup has been paring far-flung shopper operations and scrutinising the financial institution’s presence in markets around the globe.

After already in search of to exit its retail operations in 13 completely different nations throughout Asia and Europe, it now expects to begin the gross sales course of for its shopper, small-business and middle-market banking models in Mexico within the spring.

The main focus is shifting as an alternative on constructing out its burgeoning wealth administration arm.

The US financial institution has additionally recognized a chance to deepen its presence in Africa by leveraging relationships constructed elsewhere.

“We might be within the markets with a caveat that we aren’t going to go to very low or small enterprises, however quite specializing in making the Citi community obtainable to current shoppers with a number of nations’ presence,” Pakcan mentioned.

Fraser informed buyers on a convention name final month that Citigroup is trying to acquire scale in business banking and desires to cater to middle-market corporations with international wants.

Citigroup is in the meantime specializing in wealth administration because it creates hubs for servicing its richest prospects in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and London.

“We’re engaged on the technique to develop round wealth within the UAE,” Pakcan mentioned. “We’re speaking about constructing area and planning round the place to seat the brand new hires.”

The lender can also be recruiting non-public bankers within the UAE because it ramps up efforts to serve the ultra-rich. Pakcan mentioned she expects to begin hiring sooner or later in 2022.

“We’re bringing our shopper wealth and personal franchise nearer to one another and we’re looking for a candy spot to handle the hole within the spectrum between these segments,” she mentioned. BLOOMBERG

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