By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s largest private bank, Itau Unibanco, announced on Saturday (October 8th) its purchase of Citibank’s retail operation in Brazil for R$710 million (approximately US$220 million). Citibank’s retail operation in Brazil includes 71 branches administering R$35 million in deposit and assets for approximately 315,000 clients. With this latest acquisition, the Brazilian financial giant will have R$1.404 trillion in assets.
“We announce that Itaú Unibanco has been chosen as a future controller of our retail operations in the country, including branches, credit cards and the individual segment of Citi Corretora. With this move, we try to merge our recognized expertise in premium segments and our superior customer service to a solid bank with one of the largest service networks in the country and a benchmark for digital services,” said the statement issued by Citibank Brasil on Saturday.
The segments in Brazil of Corporate and Investment Banking, Commercial Bank and Private Bank will continue to be administered by Citi.
“Brazil is a strategic market for Citi and is an essential part of our footprint and global network,” said a statement released by Jane Fraser, Citi Latin America CEO. “We have been in Brazil for more than 100 years and we will continue to grow our market leading franchise serving our institutional and private bank clients, leveraging our global presence and generating better returns on our assets and capital for our shareholders.”
In a press release, Itau Unibanco assured Citibank customers that the purchase would translate into benefits.
“Citibank customers will continue to enjoy the same efficiency and quality service and have access to an expanded service network, consisting of more than four thousand branches and service centers and 44,000 ATMs throughout the country,” said the note released by the Brazilian financial entity.
The announcement was made on the day that another Brazilian financial giant, Bradesco, finalized the incorporation of HSBC clients to its network in the country. The Itau-Citibank transaction is subject to approval from Brazil’s antitrust agency, CADE.