Citigroup targets to double South Korea wealth assets by 2020

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Citigroup Inc strategies to double its wealth management assets in South Korea to around $6 billion by 2020, setting up new offices and capitalizing on digital technology to invite new customers.

Asia has appeared as a key battleground for global wealth managers, with advanced economic growth, quickly rising wages and a blooming entrepreneurial ecosystem creating rich clients at a pace faster than the west.

US-based Citi, which is scoring its 50th anniversary in South Korea, said its strategies to grow its objective customer base in wealth management by 50 percent by 2020 with new offices in Seoul, Dogok, and Bundang.

The bank, which has close to 3 million consumer banking clients in South Korea, also aims to increase consumer banking deposits by 30 percent, up from $10 billion currently and will surge investments in technology.

“The number of clients visiting divisions have fallen dramatically,” Brendan Carney, consumer banking head of Citi in South Korea added.

“We are responding to the varying preferences of our clients by capitalizing further in digitization that allows us to help customers wherever they want to bank with us.”

Citi said it directed to acquire 80 percent of new credit card customers via digital platforms by 2020.

An attention on rich young Asians and new products has aided Citi to accelerate net new money development of its Asia-Pacific consumer wealth business in 2016 to about 10 percent, and similar annual growth is predictable over the next few years.

Anand Selvakesari, its Asia-Pacific consumer banking head, whispered in January that growing in net new money, a key amount of profitability of the wealthy business, enhanced in 2016 from around mid-single digit levels in the last four to five years.

In 2015, the number of high net worth persons – those with $1 million or additional in investable assets – propagated by 2.2 percent in South Korea, while Singapore saw a decline of 3.5 percent and India rose by 1.1 percent, conferring to the latest obtainable Capgemini Financial Services Analysis report.