After exit announcement, Citi Malaysia seeks to assure customers, employees, stakeholders

Keertan Ayamany
·2-min read
Citi Malaysia leaders said consumer business operations will operate as normal and clients would not experience any deterioration in services. — Reuters pic
Citi Malaysia leaders said consumer business operations will operate as normal and clients would not experience any deterioration in services. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — Following the decision of its parent Citigroup Inc to leave retail banking in here, Citi Malaysia has promised to keep the best interests of its customers, employees and other stakeholders at heart as it makes the transition.

In a statement today, Citi Malaysia leaders said consumer business operations will operate as normal and clients would not experience any deterioration in service levels.

“As we embark on a new chapter in Malaysia, we will ensure that we do this in a way that protects the interests of and minimizes the impact on our customers, employees and other stakeholders,” said Citi Malaysia chief executive officer Usman Ahmed.

Usman added Citi Malaysia will provide further updates when these are available.

Citi Malaysia consumer business manager Elaine Fan further addressed the bank’s credit card holders, bank account holders and its customers in investments and loans, telling them that all existing products and services will continue as usual.

“All branches, ATMs, call centers and offices, will continue to operate as they do today. Customers can continue to conduct transactions or service inquiries through the Citi Mobile App, Citibank Online and CitiPhone.

“This will remain the case until we notify customers of any changes in the future,” she said.

According to Citi Malaysia, it has been operating in Malaysia since 1959, and currently employs over 5,000 people.

On April 15, Citigroup Inc chief executive officer Jan Fraser announced the group’s decision to exit retail banking in 13 markets — including Malaysia — across Asia and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Fraser, who took over the organisation last month, said the move is part of an ongoing review of the company’s strategy and said the bank will instead operate its consumer-banking franchise in both regions from four wealth centers in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London.

Since the announcement, National Union of Bank Employees (Nube) secretary-general J. Solomon has called on the government to ban Citi from operating in Malaysia, saying the bank had reneged on many promises — such as not making its services available to people in rural areas, and instead reaped hefty profits from urban areas.

He also criticised Citi, saying it had provided only a vague statement on the fate of its employees in Malaysia.

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