Citigroup to Exit Mexico Consumer Banking Business

One of Citigroup’s Banamex branches, in Puebla, Mexico.

Photo: Koral Carballo/Bloomberg News

Citigroup Inc. C 1.64% will exit its Mexico consumer banking business, the latest strategic shift by Chief Executive Jane Fraser.

The bank said Tuesday it would exit consumer, small-business and middle-market banking in Mexico, a business best known as Banamex. Citigroup said the change was part of its continuing “strategic refresh.”

Those businesses accounted for about $3.5 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2021, Citigroup said, or about 6% of the bank’s total revenue in the period. Citigroup will be keeping its investment banking and institutional businesses in Mexico, as well as the private bank operations.

Ms. Fraser, who became CEO in March, had already been shutting down and selling consumer operations in Asia over the past year and now will be left with a consumer business serving a handful of U.S. cities and a few international hubs. Her goal has been to simplify the bank, concentrating on wealthy consumers and credit cards. The bulk of Citigroup’s profit comes from serving global companies.

Ms. Fraser, in a release, said the bank remained committed to Mexico and that it would continue to be an important market for Citigroup. “We expect Mexico to be a major recipient of global investment and trade flows in the years ahead, and we are confident about the country’s trajectory,” she said.

Citi paid $12.5 billion to buy Banamex in 2001, making it the only major U.S. bank with a sizable presence in Mexico. It was part of the bank’s goal to serve consumers globally, which few banks have succeeded in doing.

Banamex was dragged down by fraud allegations several years ago, and some investors and analysts have been pushing for Citigroup to get rid of it. Citigroup renamed the unit Citibanamex in 2016. Ms. Fraser had previously run the Latin American division of Citigroup, having been sent to help fix up Banamex following fraud allegations.

Write to David Benoit at

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Appeared in the January 12, 2022, print edition as ‘Citi Quits Mexican Consumer Business.’


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