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Citi to exit India onshore private banking

In retreating from onshore private banking in south Asia’s largest market, Citi is following the money, as it seeks to serve the rising number of Indian families fast transferring personal wealth overseas to bigger and more stable markets they know and trust.

A woman puts flower petals on the new 100 Indian rupee notes as she prays as part of a ritual during Dhanteras, a Hindu festival associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, in Ahmedabad

Citi will exit onshore private banking in India, Euromoney can exclusively reveal.

The decision is part of a wider plan by the US bank to get out of 13 Asian and EMEA markets, announced in April by incoming CEO Jane Fraser.

It has no active plans to scrap its onshore private banking and wealth management services in any of the other markets it is leaving.

Citi’s strategy is to redirect capital and human resources to serve a growing army of wealthy non-resident Indians (NRIs) who are putting their wealth to work in a select set of offshore markets, including London, Dubai and Singapore.

A spokesman at Citi in Hong Kong says: “India remains an important market for the Institutional Clients Group and Citi’s wealth ambitions in the region.”

He adds: “While our ability to serve our onshore private bank Indian clients is heavily dependent on our consumer platform, we are committed to and continue to invest in our ability to serve our clients in India, and they will have the option to continue to bank with us through one of the four global centres, subject to Indian regulation.”

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