Citi to exit Mexican consumer banking business in strategy revamp

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Citi said it intends to focus its consumer banking business on global wealth as well as payments and lending and a targeted retail presence in the U.S.

The exit does not include Citigroup (NYSE:C)’s institutional business in the country.

Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser said in a statement that the move is in keeping with the “strategy refresh” that she has been putting the bank through and that also includes exits from consumer businesses in Asia where she found that the bank did not have enough size and market share to compete.

Before becoming CEO, Fraser was responsible for the Mexico business and for Citigroup’s global consumer bank. In that role she worked to build on investments the bank made to refurbish the Mexico consumer business which had been known as Banamex.

Institutional investors frustrated with Citigroup’s relatively poor investment returns have long called for the bank to give up Citibanamex.

The bank did not estimate the cost of exiting the business or what it might receive in a sale. The business currently uses about $4 billion of tangible common equity.

Citigroup has said it expects to free up about $7 billion of tangible common equity from its Asia exits.

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