In April 2021, Citibank announced that it would be exiting the retail businesses, including credit cards, retail banking, consumer loans and many other such lines of business in 15 geographies in Asia and Europe, including India. Their rationale was that the business did not gain scale in these geographies, so they wanted to refrain from committing more resources to these markets. In March 2022, they announced that the Indian retail business would be carved out and sold to Axis Bank for USD 1.6 Billion. The date was said to be set as the first half of 2023.
Citibank will transfer relationships to Axis Bank on March 1, 2023
As per an email transmission sent out overnight to all Citi customers in India, Citibank will be handing over the customer database and relationships to Axis Bank on March 1, 2023.
As per Citibank, the products and services that you hold with Citi will remain Citi-branded till the second half of 2024 or until further notification from Axis Bank. Similarly, your Bank account number, Credit / Debit Card numbers, chequebooks, IFSC, and MICR codes remain the same.
More importantly, there is no change, at this time, to the earning ratio and redemption process of reward points, across both Citi Credit and Debit Cards. Which puts to rest the big question that Citi customers have had on their mind for a long long time. There is a full FAQ published by Citi.
Personally, this is bittersweet for me, since I have been a Citi customer since 2001, and of course, I’m sad to see them leave. But the good thing, and the saving grace is that there is an 18 months transition period, which means, apart from the entity changing, the whole thing remains the same for a long time.
What do you think of the move of Citi to Axis Bank?
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I hold a Citibank credit card since 1977 and their customer service/ support is so good. I hate to see them go.
What is the impact on receivables of CITI BANK? I mean, credit card, loan dues?
@Anand Kulkarni, everything will be transferred to the books of Axis. That is what they are buying, right?
Citi has been in India for around 120 years or something like that IIRC. With this Citi retail business withdrawal from India (and elsewhere in Asia and parts of Europe), I will miss them and the part that the company’s retail branch presence too has played in my life. My family has been a heavy user of Citibank in India, across Asia, Europe and Latin America and will be having some account transitions because of this.
Around the world, Citi has been a reliable partner in getting us our cash quickly when and where needed, and it always felt like a bit of America when away from home. In India, Citi certainly always felt generally more professional and upscale to me than SBI, PNB and various other Indian banks’ branch offices that I’ve dropped into over the years.
It doesn’t surprise me to see major international banks pull back from foreign retail banking operations. The economics, the risks, the prestige element, and the competition factors are very different now in this era of increasingly online-only banking than they used to be two or three decades ago. In some ways, we could see such retrenching as a sign of the on-going pull and push dynamic between globalization and balkanization.
Everyday I type “Citibank” into google search to see if maybe this decision is overturned, this really sucks
I echo your sentiments Ajay. Having started with the Jet Co branded Citibank card, with its great rewards and continued with Premier miles, it has been a great, rewarding and enjoyable journey. I do hope Axis continues to maintain the standard set by CITI.