Citigroup to Move Tokyo Retail Bank Headquarters to Shinjuku

Citigroup Inc. (C) will move its Japan retail banking unit’s headquarters to Tokyo’s Shinjuku district from Shinagawa in 2014 to increase floor space and cut costs, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

Staff at the retail banking and credit card businesses will start moving around July 2014 to Shinjuku Eastside Square, which was completed this year, from the 20-year-old Sea Fort Square, according to the memo. Mika Nemoto, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman, confirmed the contents of the document.

Citigroup joins Morgan Stanley in relocating to new buildings in Tokyo’s business centers. Rents in Japan’s capital have fallen to 16,763 yen ($213) per tsubo (35.5 square feet) in June from 17,292 yen a year earlier, according to Miki Shoji Co., a Tokyo-based office brokerage firm.

“The much larger floor size of Shinjuku Eastside Square will allow more groups to sit on the same floor, enhancing teamwork, efficiency,” Citigroup Japan Holdings Corp. Chief Executive Officer Peter Eliot said in the memo addressed to employees in Japan.

Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward is home to the city’s government seat and the world’s busiest train station. An average of 3.64 million passengers pass through Shinjuku Station daily, according to Guinness World Records.

Morgan Stanley (MS) is planning to move its Japan operations to the city’s Otemachi business district from Ebisu by early 2014 because rents are “attractive,” according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News in April.

Citibank Japan Ltd. had 3.5 trillion yen of deposits as of March 31, according to its website. It has 1,800 employees and 38 branches.

To contact the reporter on this story: Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at thyuga@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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