Citi’s Aristeguieta makes his mark in Asia
Five quarters of profit after years of flat performance; consumer revamp gains traction.
Francisco Aristeguieta, the Asia Pacific chief executive of Citigroup, says the bank is “probably 40% into the journey” of its 2020 vision for Asia. But it appears to be already bearing fruit.
After several years of disappointing performance, Citi in Asia has delivered five consecutive quarters of increasingly broad-based growth.
Overall third-quarter revenues, at $3.75 billion, were up 6% year on year, and net income, at $969 million, up 12%. Within that, the global consumer banking division is up 15% year on year for net income in the third quarter, and the institutional clients group, containing the corporate bank, by 11%.
Aristeguieta says that of the initiatives that have taken place in the two-and-a-half years since he became chief in June 2015, one of the most important has been the revamp of the consumer banking business.
“The definition of our consumer strategy was on the basis of relevance,” he says. “Can we be relevant to our target market in 17 different markets? That is the fundamental question we are solving.”
A large part of this process has involved digitization: 37% of card clients in the region and 40% of personal loans are now acquired digitally, which Aristeguieta says manifests itself in better profitability and return on equity than analogue-acquired clients.