Citigroup’s Retail Banking Reorg

Citigroup will combine its retail banking and mortgage operations, according to a memo viewed by Reuters, the newswire said in an article on Thursday (June 25).

The combined entities will be led by Jonathan Larsen, who is currently the global head of the company’s retail banking division. The newswire reported that the company has also named Anand Selvakesari head of consumer banking for Asia, a position held by Larsen for the past six years.

Latin America’s consumer banking division will in turn be the province of Fabio Fontainha, who now helms consumer banking in Brazil.

Separately, Dow Jones reported that the move represents an effort by the company to “shore up“ its mortgage operations. The changes were reportedly part of a memo penned by Stephen Bird, who was recently tapped to lead the consumer bank.

Larsen’s new role helps put the spotlight on the increasing focus by Citi on its Asian consumer business, a segment that accounted for 21 percent of the company’s global consumer banking business. And, as Dow Jones said, Asia has traditionally been a launching pad of sorts, where Citi debuts new financial products and tests them before bringing them to other parts of the world.

Dow Jones further reported that Larsen, who up until now has been based in Hong Kong, will now be based in both New York and Hong Kong. Larsen’s move essentially positions the executive as a replacement for Jane Fraser, who had been in charge of the company’s global mortgages and U.S. consumers divisions.

The latest corporate shuffle at Citi comes after CEO Michael Corbat had repositioned executives across three continents, said Dow Jones. And that reassignment of executives came after Manuel Medina-Mora, who had been head of the consumer banking unit, announced his departure from the role. Bird’s memo and management changes mark his first executive-level moves since taking his current consumer banking job.

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