Date
18 October 2017
By selling its Japan retail banking business, Citigroup hopes to strengthen its focus on corporate banking, investment banking and trading. Photo: Bloomberg
By selling its Japan retail banking business, Citigroup hopes to strengthen its focus on corporate banking, investment banking and trading. Photo: Bloomberg

Citigroup weighs sale of Japan retail banking assets

Citigroup Inc. is considering selling its retail banking business in Japan as part of a rethink of its global operations, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The company may offload the assets by auction, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The move would allow Citigroup, the third largest United States bank by assets, to focus on its remaining businesses in Japan — corporate banking, investment banking and trading.

Citibank Japan Ltd. has 33 retail branches across the country, with deposits of 3.9 trillion yen (US$38 billion).

Citigroup operates in 100 countries but it has been scaling back since the financial crisis in hopes of becoming simpler and easier to manage. It wants to focus on areas with the highest growth potential for consumer banking, eschewing some smaller cities and slower-growth countries, the report said.

Earlier this year, Citigroup suffered a setback when the Federal Reserve rejected its dividend and share-buyback proposal, citing difficulty in determining the impact of a severe recession on the group’s global operations.

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