Citi hiring 2,300 in HK and Singapore

The bank’s recruitment drive will follow a major overhaul

Citi hiring 2,300 in HK and Singapore

US global bank Citi is hiring some 2,300 employees in Hong Kong and Singapore as newly elevated CEO Jane Fraser begins restructuring the business. The new staff will play a part in the company’s pivot to consumer wealth management.

The two Asian markets remain part of Citi’s epicentres of growth. The company is aiming to get new relationship managers and private bankers on board. Of the total number of new hires, about 1,500 are set to be assigned in Singapore where Citi operates its largest wealth advisory centre. Apart from the increase in head count, the bank said it will also invest in emerging technology.

Read more: Citi will only reopen offices 'at the right time'

The recruitment drive follows the announcement that Citi will exit retail banking in overseas markets, including Australia, China, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Scaling back means that the bank can now refocus its consumer banking operations in only four key locations: Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the UAE.

“While the other 13 markets have excellent businesses, we don’t have the scale we need to compete,” Fraser said in her first quarterly earnings call as CEO. “We believe our capital, investment dollars, and other resources are better deployed against higher-returning opportunities in wealth management and our institutional businesses in Asia.”

Read more: Citi appoints HR head for Singapore and ASEAN

For now, Citi’s unit heads in affected markets said the bank will continue to do business as usual. “There is no immediate change to our operations, and no immediate impact to our colleagues as a result of this announcement. We will continue to serve our clients with the same dedication and focus on service excellence as we do today,” said Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed.

While consumer banking units in the region have yet to announce any staff cuts or redeployments, Fraser has hinted there may be additional restructuring, including possible divestments, in the months ahead. There is “more to come, for sure,” the CEO said in an interview on CNBC.

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