Citibank to Exit Australian Retail Banking

SIA1A

Member
Joined
May 23, 2007
Messages
212
Points
155
Citibank made the following announcement regarding its Australian retail banking operations on 15 April 2021:


Citi stated that it will be business as usual for it's Australian retail banking operations during the sale of this business. Unsurprisingly, Citi provides no indication about what Citi retail customers should expect after the sale of its business is executed.

I note that about a month ago Citi reduced the points it offers for many of its credit card transactions - part of preparing the retail bank for a strong sale price - at the cost of current retail customers?
 

jakeseven7

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
6,064
Solutions
2
Points
995
Don’t care about my FFL credit card - has been watered down so much barely worth it.

But the Citibank Plus debit card is one of the best OS cards based in Australia to use when overseas, best rates, amongst lowest fees.

A lot of AFF members will be upset if that is going as well....

I wonder what will happen....
 

Must...Fly!

Established Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
4,974
Points
715
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
Platinum
Citibank Plus was my primary bank account for many years. I recently transitioned across to Macquarie, though still use the Citi account extensively. It was a wonderful product for years. I think the shine has worn off a bit lately, because there are a number of banks out there offering similar benefits - fee free accounts, and zero international transaction fees. Never the less I will be sad to see it go, I always (somehow...) received excellent service from Citi when calling them.
 

jakeseven7

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
6,064
Solutions
2
Points
995
Citibank Plus was my primary bank account for many years. I recently transitioned across to Macquarie, though still use the Citi account extensively. It was a wonderful product for years. I think the shine has worn off a bit lately, because there are a number of banks out there offering similar benefits - fee free accounts, and zero international transaction fees. Never the less I will be sad to see it go, I always (somehow...) received excellent service from Citi when calling them.

I did too, I'm a bit mystified by all the complaints about their poor service, I've always had exceptional service, even when I was just a baseline member, now as Citigold of course its even better.

Out of interest because I suspect I will have to do the same when Citi disappear, what banking product at Maccas Bank is equivalent to the Citi Plus?
 

Must...Fly!

Established Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
4,974
Points
715
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
Platinum
Out of interest because I suspect I will have to do the same when Citi disappear, what banking product at Maccas Bank is equivalent to the Citi Plus?
Just their plain old transaction account.


They recently reissued debit cards and have removed EFTPOS though which is a pretty big negative IMO
 

jakeseven7

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
6,064
Solutions
2
Points
995
Just their plain old transaction account.


They recently reissued debit cards and have removed EFTPOS though which is a pretty big negative IMO

Thank you! And the FOREX rates were as good as Citi Plus in your experience?
 

_flyer

Intern
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
61
Points
95
Qantas
Silver
Virgin
Platinum
I assume another bank will buy the accounts and we will continue as normal with a similar offering, just a different logo. Just my opinion.
 

SIA1A

Member
Joined
May 23, 2007
Messages
212
Points
155
My guess:

Citi retail is the 5th largest credit card issuer in AUS, behind the Big 4, HSBC is a distant 5th.

Maybe the card business will be parceled separately to other parts of the bank, eg it's mortgage business.

It's hard to see any of the Big 4 grabbing Citi retail, they've already demonstrated that they can obtain/retain market share in Aus organically.

Perhaps HSBC wants to increase its presence in Aus. ING might also be interested, though it runs a very different, low risk, style of business.

Other existing banks in AU are possibly too small to bid.

That leaves other foreign players, perhaps someone with only a minor or nil current exposure in Australia?

On the personal front, I hope whoever the buyer is decides to offer Google Pay - something that Citi Aus has never implemented (signifying minimal Citi internal business development initiatives locally).

The eventual buyer might be facing significant other business debt investments in order to modernise the Citi systems too.

However, this Citi asset sale could go for a bargain. According to the new Citi global head, as reported this morning on CNBC, she is in a hurry to sell off under-performing or mature, low growth assets. A good situation if you're a potential buyer?
 
Last edited:

AIRwin

Established Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
4,561
Solutions
8
Points
700
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
Gold
Citi will also cease being the issuer of Virgin Saver accounts and any accounts will be closed on 1 June 2021.
 

Supersonic Swinger

Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
764
Solutions
1
Points
310
I wonder if this is the final nail in the coffin for Diners Club in Australia:

- Unlike American Express they aren't heavily championed globally by their US parent
- Citi has let their acceptance drop to the point that only "most" major retailers accept them
- Other than offering the companion card, they haven't done anything to aggressively promote uptake in two decades
- I can't see a BofQ or HSBC bothering with the hassle of dealing with such a dying niche and if they had to buy it with the rest of the whole portfolio, shutting it down quickly
 

SIA1A

Member
Joined
May 23, 2007
Messages
212
Points
155
I wonder if this is the final nail in the coffin for Diners Club in Australia:
I have a 'full' Diners as well as Citi's companion Diners. The only reason I keep (and pay for) the full Diners is for the unlimited access it gives me to overseas airport lounges. This benefit has been useless during Covid and Citi's limited access as a Premier benefit largely duplicates the Diners benefit.

I'm not currently travelling OS so the benefit of international lounge access has no attraction. However, post-Covid the Diners airport lounge deal might have some value if Diners continues to support this feature.

The Citi Premier airport lounge benefit looks to be doomed: Citi Premier provided a basic free membership of Priority Pass that, in turn, has a deal with the world's largest independent airport lounge operator, Plaza Premium.

It appears that the Priority Pass relationship with Plaza Premium will cease on 30/6/21. If that's happens, the value of Citi's Premier offer re airport lounge access will be diminished (unless Citi can set up alternative arrangements by 30/6) and, separately, one wonders where the Diners lounge access feature will end up.

There are currently some minor differences between the lounges that can be accessed via Priority Pass compared with lounge access via Diners.
 

cove

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
14,239
Solutions
1
Points
1,330
Citibank have always been fringe dwellers in the Australian market.
in the US Citi are really on the ball.
Australian Citi cards may end up with Latitude or even BOQ.
Ahmed Fahour who is now at Latitude did work at Citi a few years ago.
Mrscove has used Citibank debit for getting cash in the US and UK.
 

jakeseven7

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
6,064
Solutions
2
Points
995
Citibank have always been fringe dwellers in the Australian market.
in the US Citi are really on the ball.
Australian Citi cards may end up with Latitude or even BOQ.
Ahmed Fahour who is now at Latitude did work at Citi a few years ago.
Mrscove has used Citibank debit for getting cash in the US and UK.

Hope not BOQ, they only discovered the internet last year :(
 

Chicken

Established Member
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
1,331
Solutions
1
Points
595
Here is another article which has a lot more details:

From Manila to Seoul, Citigroup ends an era of pan-Asian retail banking

Yes I'm still 🙄 at Citi because they have just completed the renewal and variations of my home loan accounts, which took them over 3 months to do; however, Citi has a long history of being one of the first foreign banks in many countries, and this exercise will be ending their 100+ years of histories in multiple countries, so I do feel kinda sad.

(signifying minimal Citi internal business development initiatives locally).

It's not a local Citi thing, it's global. Citi had a project, where they wanted local businesses to leverage global and minimise local customisation. The result wasn't exactly what they had hoped.

For those who have an interested in transformation projects (I love them but I also hate them), I recommend this interesting read: Memoirs of a Citibank technology warrior

The eventual buyer might be facing significant other business debt investments in order to modernise the Citi systems too.
You can't exactly do that, because you are buying the customers, you are not buying the Citi's IT system. Not that you could physically do that. You would just migrate the customers into your own system, like how Advance Bank records were frozen then moved over into St George.

So BoQ are issuing the new accounts themselves?

Hope not BOQ, they only discovered the internet last year :(

BoQ just bought ME Bank from industry super funds, so how they handle and integrate maybe an indication? That is, if they still have the ability to buy Citi consumers in Australia after buying ME Bank.
 
Last edited:

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..

Community Statistics

Threads
87,562
Messages
2,152,486
Members
54,556
Latest member
bayleavesflorist
Top