Citibank Korea confirms shutdown of retail banking operations

Asia's Tech News Daily

Citibank Korea confirms shutdown of retail banking operations

Employees of Citibank Korea sit behind a counter at the company’s head office in Seoul in this file photo taken on April 19. Yonhap

Citibank accepts voluntary retirement amid phased shutdown

By Lee Min-hyung

Citibank Korea confirms shutdown of retail banking operations

Citibank Korea CEO Yoo Myung-soon

Citibank Korea decided Monday to carry out a phased shutdown of its consumer banking operations after failing to find a buyer for the division.

Until recently, the Korean subsidiary of Citigroup left open the possibility of selling off the division to a potential buyer, but its board confirmed Friday the decision to close down the consumer banking operations here in phases.

“We have held enough discussions on a number of proposals from potential buyers, but decided to conduct a phased shutdown of our retail banking business due to realistic constraints,” the company said in a statement.

Citibank Korea said it would accept voluntary retirement applications from its employees and pledged to guarantee jobs for those who want to continue working at the lender by shifting them to other divisions.

“We are going to thoroughly abide by relevant laws and regulations from watchdogs while carrying out the phased shutdown and will run a set of programs to protect employees and customers,” Citibank Korea CEO Yoo Myung-soon said.

The decision came about six months after Citigroup announced its strategy of exiting the consumer banking markets in 13 countries including Korea.

Citibank Korea placed top priority on ensuring job security for its employees and sought to find a potential buyer who can guarantee employment succession after acquiring the division.

But such efforts proved to be futile and sparked concerns that around 2,500 employees at the lender’s retail banking division may face layoffs.

Fierce protest set to ensue from union

The ongoing conflict between Citibank’s management and labor union is expected to escalate further following the latest decision. Citibank’s labor union has insisted that the lender should push to sell the retail banking division “as a whole” to a potential investor amid concerns over job security.

The union urged financial authorities to disapprove the decision by management, saying that mass layoffs will ensue if the retail banking division is sold off without a guarantee of job security.

“According to a local banking act, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) holds authority over whether to grant approval for the phased shutdown of Citibank Korea’s consumer banking,” the union said. “We demand the watchdog disallow the Citibank Korea decision by carrying out thorough and strict screening.”

Even if Citibank Korea continues to reiterate its willingness to guarantee job security for its employees “as much as possible,” the union is showing no signs of coming to terms with management.

Earlier, Citibank Korea offered to provide as much as 700 million won ($599,000) in severance pay, but the labor union did not accept the offer. Given the hardline stance of the union, it appears unlikely that both sides will be able to settle the issue in the near future.

On Monday, the FSC ordered Citibank Korea to submit specific plans on how it will protect the rights and interests of consumers before taking steps for the phased shutdown.

“It is highly probable that consumers will have to endure inconvenience if the lender pushes on with the step, so we ordered the lender to submit plans to prevent such problems,” an official from the watchdog said.

The lender said new customers will not be able to sign up for any of the existing financial services offered by Citibank’s retail banking division.

Citibank Korea’s initial plan was to sell off the retail banking division as a whole, but changed the strategy by leaving open the possibility of divisional sales of the business ― such as wealth management, credit cards and loans ― to multiple investors. The phased shutdown was the last option the lender planned to use if it failed to find buyers.

Chances are Citibank will follow in the footsteps of HSBC Korea which closed down all of its consumer banking branch offices except for one in Seoul in 2013 after failing to find a buyer. Back then, more than 90 percent of its employees here had to leave the company after accepting voluntary retirement packages.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Andaz Seoul Gangnam presents afternoon tea set for winter

Andaz Seoul Gangnam presents the “Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea Set” that offers winter desserts, finger foods and savories in addition to coffee or tea. Courtesy of Andaz Seoul Gangnam By ... Read more »

Concerns growing over increasing overseas travel amid soaring infections

A check-in area of Incheon International Airport Terminal 1 is crowded with tourists, Nov. 5. Yonhap Foreign ministry, experts call for canceling non-essential trips abroad By Jun Ji-hye An increasing ... Read more »

4 tucked-away alleys in Seoul to enjoy

Mullae Arts Village / Korea Times file By Jun Ji-hye Key social distancing measures have been eased, as the first stage of the government’s “Living with COVID-19” scheme began at ... Read more »

Concerns over COVID infection growing among pregnant women

Citizens wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a temporary test site in front of Seoul City Hall, Thursday. Yonhap By Bahk Eun-ji Concerns are growing among pregnant ... Read more »

Former UN chief not fully satisfied with COP26 results

Samil PwC ESG Platform leader Steven Kang, right, moderates a panel discussion during the COP26 Executive Briefing event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul, Thursday. From left are Ministry ... Read more »

E-Mart24 in bind over acquiring more stores

A customer purchases a used item at an E-mart24 store in Seoul on Jan. 28. Yonhap By Kim Jae-heun E-Mart’s convenience store brand E-Mart24 is in a double bind, where ... Read more »

Evolutionary biologist says having children in Korea today is a 'stupid' choice

A screenshot from the YouTube channel of Choi Jae-chun, a professor of animal behavior and ecology in the College of Natural Sciences at Ewha Womans University, shows him talking about ... Read more »

Korea Eximbank holds first ESG committee meeting

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) held its first ESG committee meeting at the headquarters of the bank on Yeouido, Seoul, Wednesday. The ESG committee is led by Committee ... Read more »

For inclusive growth

Shinhan Bank CEO Jin Ok-dong, second from left, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a branch of ‘S with,’ a coffeehouse chain set up by the bank to foster job ... Read more »

JB Financial launches platform integrating data across affiliates

JB Financial Group’s headquarters in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province / Korea Times file By Yi Whan-woo JB Financial Group said Thursday that it has launched a platform that integrates data ... Read more »

Hyundai Motor to test-operate Level 4 self-driving service in Seoul

A rendered image of Hyundai Motor’s IONIQ 5, equipped with the Level 4 autonomous driving system / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor By Baek Byung-yeul Hyundai Motor will test-operate its self-driving ... Read more »

Lee seeks to break away from hard-line image in about-face

Lee Jae-myung, presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, wipes away tears at the National Daejeon Cemetery on Sunday. (Yonhap)The Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung appears to have ditched his ... Read more »

Lee calls for tougher penalties, closer oversight on sex crimes in military

Democratic Party of Korea presidential nominee Lee Jae-myung (center) speaks in a meeting with female reserve service members Thursday held in Dongjak-gu, southern Seoul. (Joint Press Corps)The presidential nominee for ... Read more »

Yoon vows not to exploit Seoul-Tokyo tensions for political gain

Yoon Seok-youl, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, speaks during an interview with Yonhap News Agency at his campaign’s office in Seoul on Nov. 6. (Yonhap)Yoon ... Read more »

'Hellbound': A half-cut gemstone

A scene of “Hellbound” / Courtesy of Netflix The dark fantasy drama raises brilliant questions and confusing answers By Kang Hyun-kyung Gemstones are meaningless unless they are cut, polished and ... Read more »

Seoul monitoring possibility of new NK event marking 2017 ICBM launch

(Reuters)South Korea is closely monitoring the possibility of North Korea holding an event celebrating its 2017 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a unification ministry official said Thursday. North ... Read more »

Daily COVID-19 cases in military double from day earlier

(Yonhap)South Korea’s military on Thursday reported 28 new COVID-19 cases, double the previous day’s tally, as it enforces eased social-distancing rules in line with the nationwide scheme for a gradual ... Read more »

Lee says nothing should stop end-of-war declaration

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, announces his presidential pledges at the party’s headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul. (Yonhap)Ruling Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung ... Read more »

Satellite imagery indicates continued operation of NK nuke reactor: 38 North

This image shows North Korea’s main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang. (Yonhap)North Korea appears to be continuing the operation of a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor at its mainstay Yongbyon ... Read more »

Moon says violence against women must be prevented

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul last Tuesday. (Yonhap)President Moon Jae-in called Thusday for greater efforts to protect women ... Read more »

Coronavirus: Daily critical cases, deaths at record highs

People queue in line to wait for the coronavirus testing at a makeshift testing site in Seoul, Nov. 24. AP-Yonhap South Korea’s new coronavirus cases fell below 4,000 on Thursday, ... Read more »

[Graphic News] No. of multicultural marriages hits record low in 2020

The number of marriages between South Koreans and foreign spouses fell to a record low last year as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted people’s cross-border movements, data showed. The number of ... Read more »

Bank of Korea raises key rate to 1 pct to tame inflation, household debt

Yonhap Korea’s central bank Thursday raised its key policy rate to fight inflation and household debt, ending 20 months of the zero rate range put in place to stimulate the ... Read more »

S. Korea to honor fallen heroes of 'Battle of Chosin Reservoir'

This photo, released by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs on Nov. 11, shows the Korean War Memorial erected in Orange County, California, the United States. (Ministry of Patriots ... Read more »

Pianist Kissin mesmerizes Korean audience again with four encores

Pianist Evgeny Kissin performs during a solo recital held at the Lotte Concert Hall, Seoul, Monday. Courtesy of Lotte Foundation for Arts By Park Ji-won “His music reminded me of ... Read more »

MAMAMOO's Hwasa wants to apologize to people around her with new track 'I'm a B'

Hwasa of K-pop girl group MAMAMOO poses during an online media event Wednesday. Courtesy of RBW By Dong Sun-hwa Since her solo debut with the 2019 single “Twit,” Hwasa of ... Read more »

[Related images] Pandemic can't stop literary passion

By Kang Hyun-kyung Due to her extremely busy academic schedule, Min Eun-kyung, a professor at Seoul National University and one of three judges of The Korea Times Modern Literature Awards, ... Read more »

Samsung to compete with TSMC with new US foundry

Kim Ki-nam, right, vice chairman and head of semiconductor business of Samsung Electronics, shakes hands with Texas State Governor Greg Abbott after announcing that Samsung chose the city of Taylor ... Read more »

Lee Yu-bi to star in romance movie 'Love Affair'

Actress Lee Yu-bi / Y-Bloom Entertainment By Lee Gyu-lee Actress Lee Yu-bi will be starring in a new movie called “Love Affair.” Newplus Original and Asia Lab, the production companies ... Read more »

Hanwha Solutions to invest $100 million in Lancium

Hanwha Solutions’ factory in Ulsan. Korea Times file By Lee Kyung-min Hanwha Solutions will invest $100 million (120 billion won) to acquire a stake in Lancium Technologies, a Texas-based data ... Read more »

Assembly speaker meets WHO chief to discuss vaccines, N. Korea aid

National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug (L) poses for a photo with World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, in this ... Read more »

GGGI to open office in Costa Rica to support green agenda

From left: Global Green Growth Institute President Chair Ban Ki-moon, GGGI Director-General Frank Rijsberman, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Rodolfo Solano Quiros and Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada sign a ... Read more »

LG Energy Solution gearing up for January IPO

By Kim Bo-eun LG Energy Solution (LGES) CEO Kwon Young-soo / Courtesy of LGES LG’s battery affiliate is on track for its IPO, which is set to take place in ... Read more »

Architect designs shared spaces to grow concept of 'village'

Architect Lee Jun-hyung, leader of The Project HUAM, which creates expansive shared spaces in Huam-dong, an area in Seoul’s Yongsan District, poses in front of a townhouse space, which houses ... Read more »

Coupang to spend $308 mil. to expand distribution network

Coupang’s distribution center in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province / Yonhap By Kim Jae-heun Coupang, Korea’s largest online retailer, borrowed $308 million from a bank by putting up real estate holdings as ... Read more »

'Boy With Luv' becomes first BTS video to top 1.4 billion YouTube views

In this 2019 May file photo, Halsey, center, and BTS perform “Boy With Luv” at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. AP-Yonhap The ... Read more »

POSCO Chemical opens smart plant for high heat-resistant material

POSCO Chemical CEO Min Kyung-zoon, center, POSCO PLANTEC CEO Cho Cheong-woo, second from right, and other executives from POSCO affiliates join a button-pressing ceremony to mark the opening of POSCO ... Read more »

Naver Financial set to replace scandal-ridden CEO

Naver Financial CEO Choi In-hyuk / Courtesy of Naver By Park Jae-hyuk Naver Financial CEO Choi In-hyuk, who is being held morally responsible for the death of a Naver programmer ... Read more »

Korea confirms 1st fetal COVID-19 death

gettyimagesbank South Korean health authorities said Wednesday that a fetus has died of COVID-19 in the first case in the country. A 24-week pregnant woman delivered the stillborn baby Monday, ... Read more »

Lee hopes to turn crisis into opportunity with ‘government-led investment' for SMEs

Ruling Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung makes a speech at a forum in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)The Democratic Party of Korea’s Lee Jae-myung on Wednesday pledged to increase support ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic