Citibank, one of India’s oldest foreign lenders, has removed its signboard from its iconic Kanak building office on Kolkata’s Chowringhee Road as part of its rebranding exercise following the acquisition of its consumer business by Axis Bank in 2021.
This move is in line with the transition of Citibank’s consumer banking branches to Axis Bank, a development that was already announced. The Kanak building office in Kolkata holds significant historical importance as it was where Citibank started its operations in India over a century ago in 1902.
The rebranding process will entail the replacement of the Citibank signboard with both Citibank and Axis Bank branding at some branches across India. In other branches, Citibank will be entirely replaced by Axis Bank. This transition is set to take effect from March 1, 2023, as per the deal structure.
Citibank’s decision to rebrand is a strategic move aimed at aligning its operations with the changing dynamics of the Indian banking sector. With increasing competition and the emergence of new players, traditional banks like Citibank are facing challenges in retaining their market share.
The acquisition of Citibank’s consumer business by Axis Bank is expected to provide Citibank’s customers with access to a wider range of products and services, while Axis Bank will benefit from the addition of a large customer base.
Citibank’s statement that the change in signage is a logical part of the transition process is an attempt to reassure customers that the rebranding exercise will not have any impact on the quality of their services. This is an important consideration for customers who may be concerned about changes to their banking experience following the acquisition.
Citibank’s exit from from India
Citibank’s decision to remove its signboard from its Kanak building office in Kolkata is a clear indication of the changing landscape of the Indian banking sector.
The move is aimed at consolidating Citibank’s operations with Axis Bank’s business and streamlining operations. The rebranding exercise is expected to provide Citibank’s customers with access to a wider range of products and services while ensuring that there is no impact on the quality of their services.
Citibank has assured its clients of a seamless transition as it exits its consumer/retail operations in 13 countries across Asia and Europe, including India. In a statement, Citibank emphasized that it remains fully committed to offering its corporate, commercial, and investment banking business, as well as treasury and trade solutions to clients through its dedicated branches.
Last year in April 2021, Citibank had announced its decision to exit the consumer business in several countries, including India, which had surprised its customers, employees, and even some competitors in India.