A foreign bank is offloading its Australian consumer banking business
Netherlands-based ING has the largest Australian market share of all foreign banks at 12%. Citi has a 7.9% market share.
ING’s business is largely similar to Citi’s Australia and New Zealand consumer banking operations – providing mortgages, deposits and credit cards – and buying Citi’s business would provide major cost savings, according to a report by The Australian.
Market watchers believe the Dutch bank is in the strongest position to snap up Citi’s Australia and New Zealand operations, estimated to be worth between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, The Australian reported.
Citi said in April that it planned to exit the consumer banking business in 13 markets, including Australia, to focus on investment banking.
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Citi’s Australian consumer banking unit makes most of its money from mortgages. According to APRA data, Citigroup’s Australian retail banking arm has a mortgage book of $4.1 billion and an investor housing book of $2.44 billion.
ING Bank is one of the world’s largest banks, providing services in more than 40 countries, according to The Australian. It entered the Australian market in 1999 and has since become one of the country’s fastest-growing mortgage providers. ING has more than two million customers and 1,700 employees in Australia.