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NAB finalises $1.2bn Citi acquisition

NAB’s efforts to secure Citigroup’s Australian consumer bank for $1.2 billion have come to fruition.

NAB has confirmed the sale is now complete, after receiving approvals from former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, APRA and the ACCC.

From today (2 June), the major bank will continue to operate the Citi consumer business largely on a stand-alone basis, with integration to occur over the next two to three years.

NAB has established a dedicated integration team to manage the transition of the Citi consumer bank into its personal banking division and the subsequent integration of both businesses.

NAB has also promised to give customers heads-up on changes to products and the NAB service offering.

The major bank first reached the agreement with Citi in August last year, securing its home loan portfolio, unsecured lending business, retail deposits business and the private wealth management segment.

Citi’s white label credit card business in particular was a key piece, as a provider for major brands including Bank of Queensland, Coles, Kogan, Qantas, Suncorp and Virgin Money.

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Citi had chosen NAB following an auction process.

NAB chief executive Ross McEwan commented the transaction will support the group’s ambition to “build a leading personal bank”.

“We have good momentum in our personal banking division, driven by our aim to be simpler and more digital for customers and colleagues,” Mr McEwan said.

“The purchase of the Citigroup consumer business gives us greater scale in unsecured lending and supports investment in new technology. This will enable us to create more innovative, simple and digital products and services for customers, particularly in unsecured lending and supporting business partners with white label products.”

He also welcomed the 800-odd Citi staff who will now join NAB, saying they will bring “deep banking expertise and insights into how customers’ needs continue to change”.

Marc Luet, Citi Australia CEO added that the deal is a “very positive outcome” for the company’s customers and staff.

“Citi Australia will now focus its resources on the businesses where we have scale in order to deliver growth and improved returns,” Mr Luet said.

“Our goal is to be Australia and New Zealand’s preeminent banking partner for corporate, investor and public sector clients with cross-border needs.”

The sale of the Australian consumer business is the first that Citi has divested among its 14 retail markets across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Mexico.

It had decided to exit the Australian consumer market as part of its strategy review.

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