[Photo by Han Joo-hyung]
Minimum four bidders have come forward either to acquire all or part of consumer banking from Citibank Korea, but whether a sale can take place is doubtful as none promises job security.
According to briefing of Yoo Myung-soon, interim CEO at Citibank Korea Inc. on the exit plan to employees, more than four financial companies have expressed interest in buying all or part of retail operations as of June 3. The foreign bank name folding consumer banking business includes retail banking, individual wealth management and credit card operation.
Selling the retail operations in full is the most desired option for the bank but it is also reviewing plans of breaking up the business for separate sales or phased liquidation if conditions are not met.
Bidders who have offered to take over the entire consumer banking business reportedly do not wish take on all the staff in the segment.
Citibank Korea has 3,500 employees on payroll as of the end of last year. There are 2,500 employees at consumer banking including 939 staffs at outlets.
The bank has vowed to place staff interest as top priority after a board meeting last week, while flagging the option of phased liquidation if sale conditions are unfavorable.
It aims to finalize its exit plan by the end of July after allowing due diligence by the potential buyers.
The bank’s exit plans have drawn strong opposition from its labor union with some 2,600 members. The union has released a statement last Friday, demanding full sale of the business to guarantee jobs of all employees. It warned to go all-out to protect jobs if the management proceeds with partial sales or liquidation.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]