Jan 12, 2022 - Economy & Business

Citigroup to exit its Mexican retail banking business

Citigroup headquarters in New York, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022
Citigroup headquarters in New York, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Citigroup (NYSE: C) said it plans to exit its Mexican retail banking business, called Banamex, via either a sale or an IPO.

Why it matters: The earth is no longer flat when it comes to retail banking, with only Santander still trying to make a global go of it. Banamex, which was Citi's savior during the financial crisis and later the source of scandal, was the U.S.-based bank's last foreign consumer operation, having last spring announced plans to exit 13 overseas markets.

Bonus: This is something of a black eye for Citi CEO Jane Fraser, who said "there's a lot to like" about Banamex, while announcing the other country departures.

The bottom line: "Banamex is a deep part of Mexico, literally standing for Banco Nacional de México. There's going to be a very strong attempt to try to bring it back into Mexican hands, as no one there loves the fact that all three of the country's biggest banks are owned by foreigners." — Felix Salmon, Axios

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