Citigold, the wealth management arm of Citigroup, has predicted double digit growth for new business over the next two years.

Rajat Garg, who heads up the division, said the bank has seen global customers increase from 80,000 to 160,000 in just three years, with similar growth forecast to continue.

"We are seeing a large amount of expansion in this sector. We are seeing the most growth in Eastern and Central Europe," Garg told Private Banker International at Citigroup’s headquarters in Canary Wharf, London.

He said the growth was mainly due to the two regions emerging out of communism 15 years ago, performing better after the aftermath of the financial crisis due to having less debt than other European countries.

"Russia is one of the top performing country’s that has seen the most growth in terms of clients," he added.
Citigold caters for HNW and affluent investors with under USD $10 million and more than $150,000.

The division is currently in the process of streamlining its back end platforms by merging them together under a single standardised global unit called ‘Rainbow’. The program, developed over two years, will be fully rolled out early next year.

In terms of strategy, Garg emphasised that Citigroup was focussed on remaining a global bank, unlike many of its peers which are more focussed on having a domestic presence after being hit hard with increased regulation, competition and tax treaties, leading to sell offs and exiting from certain countries.