Global banking giant Citigroup says it is withdrawing from consumer banking in thirteen countries. And Taiwan is on the list.
It’s a move that has caught everyone by surprise. Fifty years after coming to Taiwan, Citibank’s parent company, Citigroup, says it’s leaving the country.
Finance expert Pao Kei-meng says the arrival of payment services like LINE Pay has tipped the balance, making providing credit services more expensive for Citibank. That’s why it’s calling it quits.
Citibank is Taiwan’s sixth largest card-issuing bank, with over 2.8 million customers. So the bank’s exit will have a serious impact. Aside from issuing credit cards, the bank also offers wealth management, loans, branch deposits, safety deposit boxes, and ATM services.
Taiwan might hang onto a single Citibank branch focusing exclusively on corporate finance.
Banking Bureau Vice-Director Lin Chih-chi says Citigroup has to protect customers’ and employees’ rights.
For now, Citigroup says it hasn’t set a date for its withdrawal from the market. It says consumer financial services will continue working as usual. There’ll be no immediate impact on employees either, and Citigroup says it will safeguard customers’ rights.
Singapore-based DBS Bank says it is open to the idea of taking over Citibank’s Taiwan business.