Citibank will stop retail banking in Korea
The company's departure from the consumer banking business comes after decades. Citibank opened its first branch in Korea in 1967 and acquired Korea's KorAm Bank in 2004.
The bank's parent company announced Thursday that it will refocus its global operations and would fold consumer banking in 13 markets including Korea.
"This announcement is for Citi to have global competitiveness advantages and simplify its business by focusing investments and resources on the business areas which will improve Citi's profitability in the long run at the Citigroup level," Citibank Korea said in statement. "The decision is not based on the performance or capabilities in any particular countries including Korea."
Detailed plans for its exit have not been announced. The bank said it will take time to review strategies with its board of directors.
This doesn't mean, however, the bank will completely pull out of Korea.
The bank will still offer banking for corporate clients, it said.
"Our priority is on supporting all our clients as we transition our franchise towards further opportunities to grow Citi's institutional franchise in Korea," Yoo Myung-soon, CEO of Citibank Korea, said in a statement.
Other countries affected by the Citigroup's shrinkage of consumer franchises include Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]