Citibank logo. (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)
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Citigroup Inc. has been quietly scaling back its consumer banking presence in some of the world's major cities, pulling out from markets where it does not have enough branches to be competitive.The company's global consumer business, which includes branch banking and credit cards, accounts for half of the company's revenue from its core operations. But Citigroup has struggled for years to make its consumer business more efficient. A set of consumer assets that the bank marked for disposal last October produced a return on assets that was one-eighth the return of the bank's main assets, according to Citigroup disclosures.Larsen said the closings around the world will allow Citigroup to put its resources where they can be more productive. He added that Citigroup would keep branches in Korea, where it has struggled with regulations on consumer lending and where other foreign banks, such as HSBC, have given up.
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