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Updated: April 10, 2014 23:08 IST

Citibank unlikely to take subsidiary route in India

Special Correspondent
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Anand Selvakesari
Anand Selvakesari

Launches two international credit card solutions

Citibank, on Thursday, said that it was unlikely to take a subsidiary route to conduct its banking operations in India, even though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) prompted foreign banks to embrace the wholly-owned subsidiary route to operate in the country.

The central bank also promised to give foreign banks, which convert into subsidiaries of their parent bank, near national treatment in opening bank branches.

“As of now we are not participating in subsidiarisation. That does not mean that we cannot continue to grow…… we also look at it from our business model perspective, so we have decided not to go ahead with it at this point,” said Anand Selvakesari, Consumer Banking Head, ASEAN and India, Citibank N.A, while addressing a press conference here to launch two international credit card solutions in India.

Citibank, the largest issuer of credit cards among foreign banks in India, said that it would further expand its card portfolio with the launch of two lifestyle products, Citi Prestige and Citi Ultima Infinite, “to cater to the discerning needs of the global Indian.” According to the Citibank, these launches further strengthen the bank’s market leadership in spends per card.

“With our network, no bank is better placed than Citi to serve the needs of our client base in India who are increasingly global and want access to rewards and services across the world,” said Jonathan Larsen, Global Head of Retail Banking and Asia-Pacific Head of Consumer Banking.

Citi Prestige is the second offering for the global Indian after the launch of Citibank PremierMiles, a card that earns and burns miles through all spends to use across 100 airlines. Citi Ultima Infinite joins the portfolio as an exclusive ‘by invite only’ credit card.

“This unique proposition will further strengthen Citi’s market leadership in overseas card spends, currently the highest in the industry.”

“At Citi, we are focussed on bringing simplicity to our product portfolio. With Citi Prestige, we are introducing a single global card solution to serve the needs of the well-heeled global Indian across the world.

“At the same time, we have observed a strong need for a credit card that can match the spending patterns and diverse needs of the ultra-high net worth individual, resulting in the Citi Ultima Infinite offering,” added Mr. Selvakesari.

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