US-based Citi has, reportedly, closed around 22 branches in South Korea in the first nine months of 2013, bringing its total number of branches in the country to 196.
The move by the bank is mainly due to fall in revenues driven by weak loan growth, regulatory interventions and low interest rate environment, reported The Financial Times.
According to Credit Suisse analysts, South Korea is the fourth major contributor to the bank’s revenues after America, Mexico and the UK.
In the recently released third-quarter results, Citibank Korea reported net income of $26m, a 53% year-on-year fall, and the lowest quarterly result since 2006.
Speaking on the bank’s third-quarter earnings call, Citigroup chief financial officer John Gerspach was quoted by the news agency as saying that revenues in Korea could begin to stabilise in early 2014, but they expect this market to continue to present a drag on year-over-year revenue comparisons for Asia through at least next year.
Citi joins Standard Chartered and HSBC, which have also expressed plans to cut their branches and operations in the country.