Axis Bank boosts retail push with $1.6 billion Citibank deal

Mumbai: Indian private lender Axis Bank has decided to bulk up its credit card and retail businesses with a $1.6-billion purchase of Citigroup’s local consumer banking arm.

The boards of Axis Bank and Citibank have approved the deal, comprising the sale of the consumer businesses of Citibank India, which includes credit cards, retail banking, wealth management and consumer loans, as well as sale of consumer business of Citi’s non-banking financial company, Citicorp Finance (India) Ltd, comprising the asset-backed financing business, which includes commercial vehicle and construction equipment loans, as well as the personal loans portfolio.

“Axis Bank looks at this acquisition as a healthy strategic fit,” itt said in a statement.

“It will gain access to the large and affluent customer franchise of Citibank having a bouquet of fee-oriented and profitable segments, that include quality credit card portfolio, affluent wealth management clientele, meaningful deposits with 81 per cent being CASA, along with a strong consumer lending portfolio.”

Post the acquisition, Axis Bank will have 28.5 million savings accounts, over 2.3 lakh ‘Burgundy’ customers and 10.6 million cards.

“With all the required capabilities in place, it expects successful integration across all key parameters including employees, customers, product offerings and technology in a value accretive manner.

“Additionally, the deal offers strategic advantages to the bank such as premiumization of its overall customer portfolio, increased opportunities to cross-sell its products and accelerated digital transformation.”

The acquired portfolio would increase Axis Bank’s credit card customer base by 31 per cent with an additional 2.5 million cards.

Axis Bank is presently the third largest private sector bank in India.

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