Citigroup CEO Reiterates Commitment To Asia, Sees Expansion Potential

Vanessa Doctor Asia Editor 30 July 2009


Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit says the Wall Street bank aims to continue expanding into key Asian countries, especially in India and China, which are showing the greatest wealth potential, according to an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Pandit criticised banks that sold their Asian assets when the crisis erupted. "Maybe for them China is a financial play, but for us China is an important part of Citi's strategy in the future,” he was quoted as saying.

Citi Asia Pacific's spokesman, meanwhile, told WealthBriefing that besides having one of the largest banking footprints in Asia, Citi Private Banking Chairman Deepak Sharma and other global investments heads are based in Asia, which reinforces the bank's commitment to its private banking businesses and clients in the region.

Citi has 300 private bankers and product specialists serving over 6000 high net worth clients, including a third of Asia's billionaires (excluding Japan).

The US bank has suffered some Asian reverses: in 2004, Japanese regulators forced the firm’s private banking arm to leave Japan over malpractices.

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