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8 February 2010

Citigroup bullish on consumer growth in Philippines

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The US banking giant Citigroup plans to expand its local operations alongside a more upbeat financial environment, projecting to beef up its manpower by about 1,000 this year particularly for the consumer and business process outsourcing businesses, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“I think what you will see is a ramp-up of our recruitment this year not only on the BPO side but also on the banking side,” Citibank Philippines chief executive officer Sanjiv Vohra said in an interview last week.

Citibank is currently a 4,500-staff organisation in the Philippines. The number includes the employees of its rapidly growing global shared services unit. This unit has expanded by about 20 percent last year, Vohra said.

But the group plans to hire more people also for its core banking business, particularly for the consumer unit. Hiring an additional 1,000 staff could thus be easily done for the full year, he added.

“A big part of it is consumer because consumer [lending] is a people business; whereas on the corporate side, we don’t need that many people,” he said.

Vohra said he was very bullish on the consumer side of the business, noting that the group was making the right investment on bank branching, technology and manpower.

Citibank purchased Insular Savings Bank in 2005, which became its thrift banking unit CitiSavings. Over the years, it has rebranded these branches. It expects to wrap up the rebranding and expansion soon and end up with 36 operational branches by March this year.


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