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Citigroup to hire up to 500 people for Hong Kong wealth management as it trims consumer banking in 13 Europe, Asia markets

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Citigroup plans to hire up to 500 people in its wealth management business in Hong Kong as it focuses on "wealth centres" in Asia under new CEO Jane Fraser and significantly revamps its consumer banking business in the region.

The expansion will include more than 300 new relationship managers in the city in the next five years, as the bank aims to triple its clients and double its assets under management (AUM) in Hong Kong's wealth business by 2025.

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"Hong Kong is a key strategic market for Citi and our Hong Kong franchise is one of the largest contributors to Citi's revenues globally," said Angel Ng Yin-yee, the chief executive of Citi Hong Kong and Macau. "Citi has a long history in Hong Kong and we are confident in our future here with a strategy to support and grow with our clients."

Angel Ng Yin-yee, CEO of Citi Hong Kong and Macau, said Hong Kong remains a key strategic market for Citigroup as it expands its wealth business in the city. Photo: Xiaomei Chen alt=Angel Ng Yin-yee, CEO of Citi Hong Kong and Macau, said Hong Kong remains a key strategic market for Citigroup as it expands its wealth business in the city. Photo: Xiaomei Chen>

On Thursday, Citigroup said it would exit the consumer banking business in 13 markets internationally and focus on wealth centres in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The revamp of its consumer banking business would include exits from mainland China, Malaysia, Taiwan and other markets where the bank said it lacks the scale to compete.

"We will invest to grow the integrated wealth, payments and consumer lending businesses in our Hong Kong and Singapore hubs, which provide comprehensive solutions for customers with global needs and aspirations," said Citi's Asia-Pacific chief executive Peter Babej. "Asia is critical to our firm's global ambitions, and we will allocate resources to drive profitable growth for our franchise."

Credit Suisse, another rival, plans to triple its headcount in China over the next three years.

"We are already a market leader in wealth in Hong Kong and taking this business to the next level is a strategic priority," Lawrence Lam, CEO and consumer business manager for Citibank Hong Kong.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.