Citigroup advertising & marketing assignments

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Citigroup controls what used to be regarded as arguably the only global US bank, even if its coverage was more of a patchwork quilt of key territories than a worldwide blanket. Recently, though, the bank began a new strategy to exit most of its remaining international markets. As a result, the business is only a shadow of the giant Citigroup was prior to the 2008 financial crisis. Its near-collapse back then followed a period of unbridled arrogance in which the bank upset governments, rivals and customers alike with aggressive, sometimes unprofessional banking practices. A disastrous foray into bonds backed by subprime mortgages began to turn sour during 2007, forcing Citi to make huge write-offs. Unlike some rivals, Citi survived the credit crisis but huge losses prompted a major scaling-back of operations, including the elimination of poorly performing businesses in consumer finance, brokerage and asset management. For several years, it was arguably the most challenged of America's big four banks. However, the turnaround was more or less complete by 2015, and since then, performance continued to improve steadily until the impact of the Covid pandemic. The bank now focuses on two main businesses: global consumer retail banking, including credit cards; and commercial and wholesale banking for institutional clients. The consumer banking business was until now one of the world's largest, claiming 110m clients across 19 global markets, albeit concentrated on the key markets of the US, Mexico (via subsidiary CitiBanamex), Poland and several countries in Asia. However, Citi announced plans to trim this footprint dramatically in 2021, scaling back consumer operations in all but four countries. That gradual retrenchment has prompted a steady decline in revenues, to $71.9bn for 2021, but an improvement in profit margins. Net income was just under 22.0bn for 2021, the best result since 2005. Total assets were $2.35 trillion. The group is one of the world's largest issuer of credit cards, with 128m active credit card accounts worldwide at the end of 2021, and $602bn in purchase volumes over the year. The largest proportion of accounts - almost 90m in all - are for private label or co-branded cards. Clients include American Airlines, Home Depot, Best Buy, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Macy's among many others. Institutional services include investment and commercial banking for corporate, investor and governmental clients as well as private banking for high net worth individuals. Michael Corbat retired as CEO of Citigroup in Feb 2021, and was succeeded by Jane Fraser, who became the first woman to lead one of America's leading banks.

Capsule checked 29th November 2021

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Historical profile information for Citigroup

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Update 14th Jan 2022: Hot on the heels of its decision to exit retail banking in Mexico, Citi announced an agreement to sell its consumer banking and credit card operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to Singapore's United Overseas Bank. Those businesses have net assets of around $3bn, and UOB will pay an additional premium of $690m. Around 2.4m customer accounts will transfer to UOB, along with some 5,000 Citi staff.

Adbrands Update 12th Jan 2022: In its latest pull-back, Citigroup announced plans to exit consumer and small business banking in Mexico, one of its biggest remaining international markets. It will retain its institutional, investment and private banking businesses there. The nature of its exit has yet to be decided and could be via sale or an IPO.

Adbrands Daily Update 9th Nov 2021: Citi revealed that the closure of its banking operations in South Korea - one of the 13 markets the bank is exiting - will cost up to $1.5bn in staff redundancies and restructuring costs. It will however free up another $2bn in secured equity that can be put to better use. Although Citi says it is considering offers for some of the local businesses it plans to exit, only the Australian operation has a confirmed deal.

Marketer Moves 12th Oct 2021: New CMO US consumer at Citi. See Marketer Moves (members only).

Adbrands Daily Update 10th Aug 2021: Citi began its withdrawal from most international markets with the sale of its consumer operations in Australia to local group NAB. The latter is paying A$250m - around $184m - for the business which includes approximately A$9bn in deposits and A$12.5bn in loans, mostly mortgages. About 800 Citigroup employees will move to National Australia Bank.

Adbrands Daily Update 16th Apr 2021: New Citi CEO Jane Fraser was quick to make her mark on the group's corporate strategy. Just a couple of months in to her new role, she announced plans to scale back Citi's global footprint significantly. Although it will continue to operate a global business for institutional and wealth management clients, Citi will cut back its international consumer banking business to just four hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and the UK. Consumer operations in 13 other Asian and European markets will be sold or shuttered. That includes operations in Poland, Russia, Australia, China, India and Korea.

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