Citibank to further grow SME segment

PUCHONG: Citibank Bhd will focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to further grow its business, said Citigroup country officer and Citibank chief executive officer Piyush Gupta. 

“SMEs, which form the economic backbone of Malaysia, have been identified as Citibank’s fastest growth segment in the next five years, contributing 20% to total revenue annually from the current 5%,” Gupta told a press conference after the opening of its latest branch here yesterday. 

Occupying 10,747 sq ft, the Puchong branch has 35 employees.  

Gupta said Citibank had been working with and serving SMEs, which had been registering earnings of RM10mil annually, offering products ranging from unsecured business loans, trade financing, equipment finance, foreign exchange and derivative services, corporate finance, cash management to advisory services. 

“Citibank plans to continue to work with SMEs not only by providing them with customised banking products that best suit their needs, but also by sharing with them our knowledge and expertise on ways to optimise their financing needs,” he added. 

“We believe Puchong has good potential for growth and we hope to encourage further financial and social inclusion of the whole community. At the same time, this branch will help provide us with better accessibility to SMEs,” he said, adding that to tap the SME market, Citibank had made available credit cards with enlarged credit limit for entrepreneurs in the SME category. 

Apart from growing the SME segment, Citibank will be stepping up efforts to expand its CitiGold wealth management. 

The bank currently has 1.3 million credit cardholders and is the leading credit card issuer with 20% market share of retail sales.  

In line with its organic growth strategy, Gupta said Citibank would be opening branches in Kampung Bukit Kuda and Damansara Perdana, both in Selangor by year-end. 

From left: IOI group chairman Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, Piyush Gupta, Citigroup country officer (Singapore and head of Asean corporate and investment banking) Catherine Weir, Kinrara state assemblyman Dr Kow Cheong Wei, Puchong MP Lau Yeng Peng and Citibank Puchong acting branch manager Kenneth Lim at the opening of Citibank’s branch in Puchong

Gupta said Citibank would seek further details and guidance from the central bank on its possible expansion in Malaysia. 

“We are going to talk to Bank Negara in the next few weeks to understand guidelines on where we can go and expand our presence,” he said.

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