Citigroup aims to double wealth assets in S. Korea by 2020

HONG KONG • Citigroup plans to double its wealth management assets in South Korea to around US$6 billion (S$8.3 billion) by 2020, setting up new offices and investing in digital technology to attract new customers.

Asia has emerged as a key battleground for global wealth managers, with higher economic growth, rapidly rising wages and a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem producing rich clients at a pace faster than in the West.

US-based Citigroup, which is marking its 50th year in South Korea, said it plans to grow its target customer base in wealth management by 50 per cent by 2020 with new offices in Seoul, Dogok and Bundang.

The bank, which has close to three million consumer banking clients in South Korea, also aims to boost consumer banking deposits by 30 per cent, up from US$10 billion currently, and will increase investments in technology.

"The number of clients visiting branches has fallen dramatically," Mr Brendan Carney, consumer banking head of Citi in South Korea, said in a statement yesterday. "We are responding to the changing preferences of our clients by investing further in digitisation that allows us to serve customers wherever they want to bank with us."

Citi said it aimed to acquire 80 per cent of new credit card customers via digital platforms by 2020.

A focus on rich young Asians and new products helped Citi accelerate net new money growth at its Asia-Pacific consumer wealth business last year to about 10 per cent, and similar annual growth is expected over the next few years.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2017, with the headline 'Citigroup aims to double wealth assets in S. Korea by 2020'. Print Edition | Subscribe