In 1776, residents of Boston were busy letting each other know that the British were coming. Fast forward to 2015, and Bostonians are saying just the opposite about one of the largest banking chains in the world.
The Boston Globe reported Wednesday (Sept. 23) that Citigroup Inc. had officially decided to close its 17 retail banking branches in the Greater Boston Area by January 2016. Following several changes to the company’s executive board, the move to exit the Boston market comes as a way for Citigroup to remove an unprofitable section of its retail banking business as it refocuses toward other areas. Despite opening its first retail branch in the Boston area more than eight years ago, Citigroup never held more than 1 percent of the market share in Massachusetts.
“We are transforming our operating model by reallocating resources to invest significantly in enhancing our digital channels and building a new branch model in our major, target markets where we have sufficient scale to best serve our customers,” Andrew Brent, a spokesman for Citigroup, said in a statement. “In Boston, Citi’s retail banking presence does not provide such scale so we are reallocating resources accordingly.”
According to The Boston Globe, Brent stated that Citigroup’s target markets include New York City and New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Washington.
This isn’t the first time that Citigroup has pulled back its retail banking operations across an entire state. In 2014, Citigroup sold all of its 41 retail branches across Texas to BB&T Corp., and in late 2013 the bank announced that it would pull out of Philadelphia.
Citigroup started 2015 in hot water with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and this latest rash of moves away from retail banking have many wondering what the company is repositioning itself toward. If this spate of branch closings is any indication, the answer won’t have anything to do with your deposits for much longer.
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