Citigroup Inc. has agreed to sell its India retail banking business for about $1.6 billion cash to Axis Bank Ltd., as the U.S. lender seeks to consolidate its operations in identified markets.
Citi will sell its consumer banking businesses including credit cards, retail banking, wealth management and consumer loans, it said in a statement. The transaction also includes the sale of the consumer business of Citi’s non-banking financial company, Citicorp Finance (India) Ltd., comprising the asset-backed financing business.
“As we move forward with this transaction, India remains a key institutional market for Citi,” Peter Babej, chief executive officer at Citi Asia Pacific, said in the statement.
The cash payout will be the largest among the other six consumer banking markets Citi has exited in the region so far.
As part of the deal, 3,600 Citi employees will move to Axis Bank upon completion of the process by first half of 2023. Citi expects $800 million of allocated tangible common equity from the deal.
The purchase is part of Axis Bank’s longstanding goal of accelerating its presence in the retail segment.
For Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser, the sale is part of an ongoing strategy to simplify the New York-based bank, do away with its retail banking operations in 13 different countries across Asia and Europe, and focus on high-growth businesses such as wealth management. It will also focus on investment and corporate banking in Asia.