Citigroup plans to shut down its lone retail bank in UK

Citigroup has said that it plans to shut down its retail bank in the United Kingdom, as it overhauls its business structure.

The firm said that it would be focusing on its wealthiest customers in the UK, and will be inviting certain clients to transition to its private bank. Customers who don’t meet the criteria for this new service will see their accounts closed.

“Citi has begun the process of collectively consulting with employees of its UK retail bank in more detail about the proposal,” Citi said in a statement.

 “No final decision can be taken until that process concludes,” said Citi, which has only one branch in the UK, based at Canary Wharf in London.

The bank further said that an “overwhelming majority of clients would not be affected until 2023.”

Last year, the US lender announced to wind down its consumer banking operations in 13 markets across Asia, Europe and the Gulf.

Earlier this year in January, Citi made changes to its business structure as a piece of a broader strategy to move away from global retail banking.

The firm first closed its Mexican retail banking arm, Citibanamex, and sold consumer banks in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to Singapore’s United Overseas Bank.

Citi’s exit from the UK market coincides with its rival Wall Street peers, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, entering the markets with the launch of their digital bank operations in the region, with an aim to expand its international consumer business. 

The JP Morgan executives in May said that its consumer bank Chase had added over half a million customers in Britain.

Goldman is also offering savings accounts under its consumer arm Marcus in Britain.

(With inputs from agencies)