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Citigroup shuts down 22 bank offices in South Korea

BBR Staff Writer Published 19 November 2013

US-based Citi has shut down nearly 22 bank branches in South Korea during the first nine months of this year, bringing the total number to 196.

The move is part of the US lender's attempts to scale down its banking business operations in South Korea, amid reduced loan growth, regulatory interventions, and the prevailing low interest rate conditions in the country, The Financial Times reported.

Citi consumer banking revenues in Asia declined by 2% partly due to regulatory changes in South Korea during the third quarter of current fiscal. Net income for the Asia consumer banking business slashed 15% from a year ago to $690m.

During the bank's third-quarter earnings call, Citi chief financial officer John Gerspach said: "Revenues in Korea could begin to stabilise in early 2014, but we expect this market to continue to present a drag on year-over-year revenue comparisons for Asia through at least next year."

The US bank joins Standard Chartered and HSBC, which have also revealed plans to reduce their operations in the country.