Citi sells Taiwan consumer banking presence to DBS

Tuesday 1 February 2022 10:57 CET | News

Singapore-based DBS has decided to buy Citi’s consumer-banking business in Taiwan for cash equivalent to the net assets transferred plus a premium of roughly USD 704.2 million, according to Banking Dive.

The deal makes Taiwan the seventh market where Citi has found a buyer for its consumer-banking assets in the past year. The bank laid out a strategy in April 2021 to exit from retail operations in 13 markets, concentrating instead on four hubs with higher returns: London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.

Citi added Mexico in January 2022 to the list of retail-banking markets from which it plans to withdraw. In the same week, the bank announced it had agreed to sell its consumer-banking businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to another Singapore-based lender, United Overseas Bank.

Citi in December 2021 agreed to sell its Philippine retail presence to Union Bank of the Philippines. It also inked a deal in August 2021 to sell its Australian consumer banking footprint to National Australia Bank.

That leaves India, China, Russia, Poland, and Bahrain as markets from which Citi has yet to determine an exit plan. The bank announced in November 2021 it would incur between USD 1.2 billion and USD 1.5 billion in charges to wind down its retail operations in South Korea.

DBS had also expressed interest in Citi’s India presence, Bloomberg reported, but opted to focus on Taiwan, which its CEO saw as a more attractive prospect. DBS said it intends to make employment offers to all 3,500 of Citi’s Taiwan consumer-banking staff members, but DBS’ CEO added he expects 10% to 20% employee attrition over time. 

Citi’s 45 Taiwan branches outnumber DBS’s 35. The Singapore-based lender said the Citi deal accelerates its Taiwan’s growth strategy by at least 10 years.

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Keywords: Citi, acquisition, retail banking
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: Taiwan
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