Citigroup is reportedly planning to add up to 500 new employees to its Hong Kong wealth management arm as it shifts focus to Asian ‘wealth centres’ under new CEO Jane Fraser.

The move forms part of the bank’s ambitious plan to triple the clients under its wealth unit in the country and double its AUM by 2025.

The hiring will include over 300 new relationship managers in Hong Kong in the next five years, according to a report by South China Morning Post.

Citi previously said it was looking to scale up its headcount in Hong Kong by up to 1,700 in a bid to capitalise on the growing capital flow from mainland China and evolving wealth in the Greater Bay Area.

Citi Hong Kong and Macau chief executive Angel Yin-yee told South China Morning Post: “Hong Kong is a key strategic market for Citi and our Hong Kong franchise is one of the largest contributors to Citi’s revenues globally.

“Citi has a long history in Hong Kong and we are confident in our future here with a strategy to support and grow with our clients.”

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Exit from consumer banking business

The report follows Citigroup exiting consumer banking business in 13 markets across Europe and Asia as part of a global restructuring exercise.

The American lender will exit from mainland China, Malaysia, Taiwan and other markets where it lacks the scale to compete and shift focus towards wealth centres in Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE and the UK.

Citi Asia-Pacific chief executive Peter Babej told the publication: “We will invest to grow the integrated wealth, payments and consumer lending businesses in our Hong Kong and Singapore hubs, which provide comprehensive solutions for customers with global needs and aspirations.

“Asia is critical to our firm’s global ambitions, and we will allocate resources to drive profitable growth for our franchise.”

Sale of credit card and wealth management divisions in India

Citigroup is also in talks to divest its credit card and wealth management divisions in India, according a separate report by Livemint.

The proposal has attracted interest from at least two large foreign banks that have similar footprint to Citi’s in India, two people aware of the negotiations told the publication.

In addition, several domestic banks and wealth management companies are also said to be interested in the units.

According to a source, the bank will launch a formal sale process for the units soon. It is currently carrying out an internal valuation exercise for the consumer vertical which also includes the mortgages division in addition to credit cards and wealth management.

Citibank India is said to have 2.2 million credit card accounts and is said to be largest foreign bank in terms of AUM.