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Confidence in Mexico Unaffected by Citigroup’s Exit: SHCP

By Emilio Aristegui | Wed, 01/19/2022 - 10:59

US banking giant Citigroup’s exit from Mexico will not affect the bank’s confidence and willingness to pursue major investments in the country, but allow it to focus on its competitive advantages, said SHCP.

“Citigroup’s announcement of its exit from the retail and corporate banking business in Mexico, as part of its new global strategic vision, does not affect its decision to continue operating in our country. We consider significant and relevant the position that they have expressed regarding the fact that Mexico will continue to be a key market and an important destination for global investment, endorsing their confidence in our country,” reads an SHCP press release.

Citigroup warned SHCP of its exit plans before making the official announcement and both entities agreed to maintain confidentiality to avoid market speculation. Citigroup’s CEO, Jane Fraser visited Mexico to explain the company’s decision to leave consumer banking in many countries. Citi has already left the majority of its operations in the EU, Asia and the rest of Latin America.

Citigroup announced on Jan. 11 that the company was exiting the consumer, small business and middle-market banking operations of Citibanamex to continue with its ‘strategic refresh.’ The bank plans to focus on its competitive advantages while simplifying operations, said Fraser via a Citigroup press release.

Citibanamex is now up for sale but acquiring it may not be simple as it is the third-largest bank in Mexico, as reported by MBN. “The purchase of Banamex requires an interested party with great economic power but to avoid greater concentration in the sector, it will probably not be given to one of the banking giants,” said Director of Applied Research at Fundef Jorge Sanchez Tello to El CEO. The National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) reported that four banking institutions control 61.28 percent of Mexican assets; BBVA with 22.74 percent, Santander with 15.05 percent, Citibanamex with 12.24 percent and Banorte with 11.25 percent.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on a YouTube video that he hoped the bank would return to Mexican hands. He claimed that Mexican billionaires Ricardo Salinas and Carlos Slim and the Chairman of the Board of Grupo Financiero Banorte Carlos Hank Gonzalez could buy Citibanamex.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
SHCP, Citigroup, MB, Reuters,
Emilio Aristegui Emilio Aristegui Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst