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Citibank: expanding Chinese presence with new Hangzhou branch

24th July 2007
By David Lalich

Citibank (China) has officially opened its Hangzhou branch, offering retail banking and wealth management services to corporate and individual customers within the area. The move is a positive one as it strengthens Citibank's presence in China and provides the bank with increased exposure to target the growing wealth of the local affluent population.

The new branch increases Citibank's Chinese network to 26 outlets, including sub-branches, that span across Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Chengdu and now Hangzhou.

According to Hangzhou branch manager Cathy Dou, Hangzhou is a prosperous economic center where demand for banking and wealth management services is high. Citibank plans to meet the demands of the local residents by targeting a range of customer segments with its products and services.

The Hangzhou branch will focus on both corporate and individual customers. Corporate services include full foreign currency cash management, loans and structured finance, while retail customers are provided with two types of services. The first is Citibank's regular banking offering, which requires a minimum balance of RMB80,000 and includes savings and investment products, mortgage loans, insurance and remittance services. The second type is offered by Citibank's CitiGold wealth management business, which it provides to customers with a minimum balance of RMB800,000.

Citibank sees the Chinese market as a key focus for its global business and further openings are expected to follow in other cities. At the ceremony of the branch's opening, Citibank president and CEO William Rhodes announced that the company views China to be one of its highest priority markets and said that the bank will continue investing in the country to further strengthen its position there.

Citibank's expansion plans will push further brand awareness and improve accessibility for Chinese customers. With the new Hangzhou branch targeting various customer segments, Citibank is likely see some success with the local population requiring banking and wealth management services. Citibank should continue developing its distribution channels across China to benefit from the growing wallets of the affluent locals.

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