Citi will begin the process to sell Banamex in the spring

The banking giant Citi Group will immediately begin the process to separate its retail banking business in Mexico from the rest of its businesses.

The US bank will start the process of selling Citibanamex in the spring, it said this Friday morning Jane Fraser, global director of Citi, in a conference on the bank’s quarterly results with analysts and investors.

In his results report fourth quarter of 2021, the bank’s CEO explained that the strategy of selling its retail businesses in several countries is maintained.

Fraser reiterated that the exit of businesses such as consumer banking and small and medium business is because they no longer align with the bank’s strategic vision. Regarding their institutional banking business, which they will keep, they stated that they see a great opportunity in the future.

The global director of Citi highlighted that this group will maintain a significant presence in Mexico with its institutional client business, with its own license.

“With the announcement of our intention to focus our franchise in Mexico on our institutional and private banking franchises, we have made the final decision regarding the update of our strategy in regards to the markets from which we intend to exit,” he stated in the presentation of quarterly results of the financial group.

“We continue to make steady progress in executing our strategy, as recently demonstrated by the signing of an agreement to divest four consumer businesses in Asia,” he added.

The Citigroup shares They fell 2.81% this Friday at 11:10 CDMX time, since the increase in expenses and the weakness of its consumer banking unit meant that the bank’s profit during the fourth quarter of 2021 will not reach the estimates, while that revenue barely exceeded expectations.

It’s not about cost

Before, in teleconference Mark Mason, Citi’s CFO, explained that the exit from the retail business in Mexico is not due to a cost issue, since Mexico, he said, is a large consumer franchise.

However, he explained that they remain with the institutional part, given that this is how their strategy will be connected to the rest at a global level.

“The consumer business was not connected with our strategy and we believe that we can continue with this restructuring, surely the new owners will find more value in it and it is the exact moment to sell this franchise”, he stated.

For all of 2021, Citi reported profits of $22 billion.

Jane Fraser took the reins of wall street bank in March last year and has since embarked on a strategy revamp that will see the lender exit consumer banking operations in up to 13 countries.

So far Citi has closed deals with buyers for that business in seven countries.

Citigroup announced last Tuesday its intention to sell its consumer banking and small business operations in Mexico to focus on its group of institutional clients, as reported in a statement.

Citi’s businesses for sale include the consumer and small business banking operations and the middle market banking business in Mexico. The group has clarified that it will continue to operate in the country through a local banking license through its institutional client business.

(With information from Edgar Juarez)

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