Citigroup to spend $12 million on Singapore expansion

Monday 31 January 2005 18:48 CET | News

U.S. banking giant Citigroup Inc. plans to spend S$20 million ($12 million) this year to double its network of Singapore branches and automated teller machines (ATMs), a Citigroup official said on Monday.

The expansion from Citibanks current 4 branches and 5 ATMs would increase its geographical presence in Singapore in direct competition with big local rivals such as United Overseas Bank Ltd. (UOB) and DBS Group Holdings Ltd. Citibank Singapore has about 400,000 customers in the wealthy city-state, making it a major player among foreign banks in Singapore. That compares with about 3 million retail customers at DBS, Singapores biggest bank by assets. Joel Kornreich, Citibank Singapores Consumer Banking Business Director, said Citigroup aimed to increase its retail business in Singapore, including revenue and number of customers, by 50 percent over the next two years. He declined to specify the size of that business now but said at a news conference: The retail banking business has grown more than 50 percent in the last two years. Singapore, Southeast Asias wealthiest country, is already considered by analysts to have too many banks, with 115 branches serving the islands 4.2 million people. After focusing on Internet networks in the last few years, banks are once again expanding their branch networks, said Lee Ah Boon, Citibank Singapore country business manager. Whether it is in Europe, U.S. or Asia, were seeing branches increasing again after the Internet age, he said, adding that the bank would raise by 150 its current 1,600-strong staff. About 40 percent of its total Singapore staff are involved in sales, he added. Lee said two new branches would be set up this year in suburban areas on the island. The location of other branches and ATMs were to be announced later. Citibank has operated in Singapore for 102 years. It formally incorporated its Singapore subsidiary in January with a paid-up capital of S$1.5 billion, becoming the first American bank in the country to do so. The local incorporation will allow it to access the local banks ATM network far sooner than the 2008 date set for foreign banks.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce