April 27, 2021 at 01:17AM

Citigroup will expand its commercial banking operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), a press release said Monday (April 26).

The operations will take on local banks serving midsize companies, as part of a broader initiative to capitalize on its global presence, the release said.

The U.S.-based bank plans to hire 25 staff members, including bankers and risk control managers. It intends to expand its presence in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal and Italy, according to Raymond Gatcliffe, head of Citi Commercial Bank in EMEA. That will be a boost from the 30 hires the bank already made in Britain in the past year.

The bank aims to target the subsidiaries of big international companies already banked with Citi, the release said. They also want to target midsize companies with annual sales from $100 million to $3 billion and fast-growing tech companies looking to achieve global scales.

Gatcliffe said tech companies had been chomping at the bit to grow internationally.

“Companies go global in a few years rather than a few decades now, and they want a banking service that’s quick, digital and global,” he said.

The pandemic has boosted the company’s investment plans, with companies demanding more digital services from banks and looking at diversifying revenue streams through numerous markets.

That said, Citigroup will face tough competition from local banks in the markets it is advertising in. It will also see competition from rivals like Barclays, which is also hiring in continental Europe, and JPMorgan and BNP Paribas, the release said.

Citigroup reported profits of $7.9 billion for the first quarter of the year. That’s compared to $2.5 billion last year.

Citi is the third-largest bank in the U.S. and said in the earnings report that it’s shuttering most consumer banking operations in 13 markets across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Citigroup To Boost EMEA Banking Operations …

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