UnionBank acquires Citigroup’s Philippine consumer banking business


Posted at Dec 23 2021 10:31 AM | Updated as of Dec 23 2021 03:55 PM

UnionBank acquires Citigroup’s Philippine consumer banking business

MANILA (UPDATE) - UnionBank of the Philippines has acquired the consumer banking business of Citigroup Inc, the Aboitiz-led lender disclosed on Thursday. 

UnionBank said it has entered into share and business transfer agreement with various subsidiaries of Citigroup to acquire Citi’s consumer banking business in the country.

“The transaction includes Citi’s credit card, personal loans, wealth management, and retail deposit businesses. The acquisition also includes Citi’s real estate interests in relation to Citibank Square in Eastwood, 3 full service bank branches, 5 wealth centers, and 2 bank branch lites,” UnionBank said in a disclosure to the stock exchange. 

In April this year, Citigroup said it would exit 13 international consumer banking markets as it shifted its focus to wealth management and away from retail banking in places where it is small.

Citi said UnionBank was selected following an extensive and competitive auction process.

UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista said the acquisition will allow them to “leapfrog” their credit card business “and significantly expand our banking business in the higher end segment of the consumer market.”

Erramon Isidro Aboitiz, chairman of UnionBank, said the acquisition fast-tracks the company’s growth aspirations in the retail banking segment.

Around 1,750 Citi employees, including senior management, are expected to join UnionBank.

“We are looking forward to welcoming all employees to the UnionBank family. With the strong cultural similarities between the organizations, we believe Citi’s employees will feel at home at UnionBank,” Aboitiz added.

“As we embark on this journey, we are committed to retain all of Citi’s key talents and uphold the superior customer experience that Citi has delivered to its customers over the years,” Bautista added. 

Peter Babej, Citi Asia Pacific CEO, said the transaction represents a positive outcome for the multinational firm as the proceeds from the sale will be invested in Citi's strategic priorities.

"We are delivering on our renewed strategy, focusing resources in areas where our global network positions us to deliver optimal growth and returns. Citi will continue to serve institutional clients in the Philippines and across Asia Pacific as we have for over a century. 

Citi said it expects UnionBank's acquisition of its consumer business to be completed by the second half of next year, subject to the timing of regulatory approvals.