Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Citigroup said on Monday it would file a charge of up to $ 1.5 billion in connection with its exit from its consumer business in Korea.

The shutdown of consumer banking operations in Korea is part of the bank’s retreat of 13 markets across Asia, Europe and the Middle East to refocus on more lucrative business lines. However, the process of leaving those businesses has so far been characterized by losses and hampered by staff considerations.

In the most recent quarter, Citi reported a pre-tax loss of $ 680 million linked to the sale of its Australian business in August.

The third-largest U.S. lender was preparing to lay off about 16,000 staff members across Asia when it withdrew from the region, the Financial Times reported last week. The bank expected the Korea-related charges to be spread over the next year as voluntary retirement is accepted, it said in a filing.

“We continue to have good discussions with potential buyers of our consumer businesses across the two regions,” CFO Mark Mason said in a statement. “In terms of Korea, however, the economy to end the consumer business is much more attractive than continuing to run the business.”

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