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Citi Sets Corporate Banking Eyes On APAC

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Citi is expanding its corporate banking presence across the Asia-Pacific region, as concerns mount over the U.S.’s retraction from global trade.

Reports in The Financial Times Monday (May 29) said Citi is looking to strengthen its corporate banking operations in the APAC region in response to the rising importance of China on the global trade stage. According to reports, Citi is adding new staff to its APAC operations and planning to boost lending volume.

The bank’s head of corporate banking in the Asia-Pacific region, Gerald Keefe, told reporters that the U.S.’s retreat from the Trans-Pacific Partnership is adding to the reshaping of cross-border trade in the region.

“APAC markets are all increasingly interlinked with one another,” he told the publication. “That just winds up creating a very different picture in the next 10 to 20 years,” a picture, he added, that is “much more geared around China than one that has historically been geared around the U.S.”

Citi will focus on Korea, India, Vietnam, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and Taiwan for its growth efforts, reports said. Bolstering local teams will give Citi a greater ability to provide corporate solutions, including treasury, trade finance, cash management, business loans and other enterprise-focused services, reports added.

According to Keefe, Citi aims to double growth in these trade corridors and add up to $2 billion in new corporate loans. Currently, the APAC region accounts for a quarter of Citi’s overall earnings, reports said, and is the bank’s largest market outside the U.S.

Aside from geographic expansion, Citi has grown its corporate banking operations in other ways as of late. Earlier this year, the bank launched an API to connect corporate treasurers’ treasury management and ERP systems to Citi solutions. Just days prior, the bank launched MobilePASS, a soft token built within a mobile app to help corporate treasurers ditch physical tokens when accessing digital banking services.

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