To fill in openings left by competitors encountering the impacts of a recession brought by the pandemic, Citigroup is aiming to bolster its commercial banking business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
The financial institution intends to grow its corporate lending division focusing on firms with yearly turnover from $25 million to $2.5 billion, Reuters reported, with new offices and staffers in multiple Western European nations by the conclusion of this year.
Citi overall has operations in 55 EMEA nations; however, its commercial banking unit has offices in just 15 with 21 further nations served from locations like London, Dubai and Dublin. The 15 locations, for their part, are mainly in eastern and central Europe with the inclusion of Turkey, Poland and Russia.
Rivals like Standard Chartered and HSBC have engaged in similar moves to receive businesses from small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe as they seek to grow revenues in a market that has been historically ruled by local financial institutions.
Head of Citi Commercial Bank for EMEA Ray Gatcliffe said per the report, “If you look at European banks right now, many are refocusing as national champions, selling off or reducing marginal overseas businesses where they didn’t have scale."
The bank executive did not tell the outlet where the company would first grow but he noted that it wanted to bring at least 10 to 20 people on board for each new location.
In separate news, Citigroup is reportedly mulling a temporary move to the suburbs until it’s safe to go back to New York City as the nation begins removing stay-at-home orders and workers go back to the office.
Social distancing and face masks will be required for an undetermined amount of time in the post-pandemic world, which are practices that are easier to follow if individuals can commute in their own vehicles to open spaces.
The bank is said to be looking into renting office space that is furnished for the short term, perhaps in Long Island, Westchester County or New Jersey.