Citigroup’s consumer banking business is exiting Australia, China, India, Russia and nine other markets around the world to focus its resources elsewhere.
The decision, the first major strategic move by new CEO Jane Fraser, marks a significant shift for Citi (C) , which historically has had the largest global footprint among big US banks.
Fraser, who is under pressure to boost Citi’s returns, said Citi’s consumer banking franchise in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa will operate solely in four wealth centers: Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the United Arab Emirates.
“While the other 13 markets have excellent businesses, we don’t have the scale we need to compete,” Fraser said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
The decision means Citi’s consumer business is exiting Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Poland, Korea, Taiwan, Bahrain, Malaysia and Thailand. In total, the 13 markets Citi is leaving brought in $4.2 billion in revenue last year.
Fraser took over for Michael Corbat in a February, making her the first woman to lead a major US bank.