American multinational investment bank Citigroup announced on Thursday that it will exit retail operations in India and 12 other countries, and instead focus on wealth management and institutional businesses.
New York-headquartered Citigroup's subsidiary Citibank is India's largest foreign bank. Citibank India's core services include investment and retail banking, capital markets, risk management and credit cards.
In a statement, Citigroup Chief Executive Jane Fraser said, "Citigroup will depart China, India and 11 other retail markets, where we don't have the scale we need to compete."
Apart from India and China, Citigroup will pull out from Australia, Bahrain, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
"As a result of the ongoing refresh of our strategy, we have decided that we are going to double down on wealth," Fraser said.
"We will operate our consumer banking franchise in Asia and EMEA solely from four wealth centres -- Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and London. This positions us to capture the strong growth and attractive returns the wealth management business offers through these important hubs.
"We believe our capital, investment dollars, and other resources are better deployed against higher returning opportunities in wealth management and our institutional businesses in Asia," she added.
Citigroup recently reported its first-quarter income of USD 19.3 billion and profits of $7.9 billion.