In financial news, although it remains to be officially announced, Clarín has been told that Santander has unanimously won the bid to gain control of Citibank’s retail business. The corporate giant has finally outbid rivals Galicia, Macro and BBVA French. Santander will now be the largest private bank in Argentina.
Although Citigroup’s first non-U.S branch was set up in Argentina, it appears sentimentality has not affected their decision to jump ship. According to Bloomberg, in March of 2015, the corporation threatened to leave its custody business in Argentina as a result of the government threatening to remove its operating license. This occurred due to the government declaring that two bond payments made by the firm were done so illegally.
The four banks bidding had been in competition since Citi put its Argentinian retail business up for grabs in February of this year. At that time the bids for its business had reached $250 million dollars. Citi took the same action in regard to its retail business in Brazil and Colombia. According to La Nación, Citi will remain associated with the corporate sector, where 90% of their Argentine profits are generated.
The amount that has been sold totals 26% of Citi’s business in Argentina. What does this mean for Santander though? The possible adoption of 71 branches, with 2,775 employees and Citi’s customer base which has 835,339 credit cards and 308,974 savings accounts. This could contribute to Santander’s global employee base of around 194,000 in 2015 and its aim to open 500 branches in Argentina by 2018.