Citibank, one of the oldest and most prestigious banks in the world, has removed its signboard from its office on Chowringhee Road in Kolkata after 121 years. The move is part of Citigroup’s plan to exit consumer operations in 13 countries, including India. Citibank’s office in the iconic Kanak building is where the bank started its India operations from in 1902, making this a significant moment in the bank’s history.
Citibank has a long and storied history in India, having established itself as one of the country’s most respected financial institutions. Over the years, the bank has played a crucial role in the development of India’s economy, providing financial services to individuals, businesses, and government institutions. With its decision to exit consumer operations in India, Citibank is ending a chapter in its history that has lasted more than a century.
The move comes as Axis Bank, one of India’s leading private sector banks, acquires Citibank’s India consumer business for ₹12,325 crore. This acquisition is expected to be a major boost for Axis Bank, which will gain access to Citibank’s vast customer base and its extensive network of branches and ATMs across India. The acquisition is also expected to help Axis Bank expand its reach in the retail banking segment, which has been a focus area for the bank in recent years.
Citibank’s decision to exit consumer operations in India is part of a broader restructuring plan that the bank announced in April 2021. Under this plan, Citibank is exiting consumer operations in 13 countries, including India, China, and Australia, in order to focus on its core institutional business. This move is expected to help Citibank streamline its operations and improve its profitability in the long run.
The removal of Citibank’s signboard from its office on Chowringhee Road is a poignant moment for many Indians who have grown up with the bank. For many, Citibank represents a bygone era of banking, when the focus was on building relationships with customers and providing personalized service. While the bank’s exit from consumer operations in India is a sad moment for many, it is also a reminder of the dynamic nature of the banking industry, where change is constant and nothing is permanent.
Citibank’s decision to exit consumer operations in India marks the end of an era for one of the country’s oldest and most respected financial institutions. The removal of its signboard from its office in Kolkata is a symbolic moment that represents the bank’s long and storied history in India.
While the move may be disappointing for some, it is also an opportunity for other banks, such as Axis Bank, to expand their reach and grow their businesses. Ultimately, the banking industry is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape, and Citibank’s exit from India is just one example of the constant evolution that is taking place.