Citigroup to Sell Spanish Consumer Bank to Banco Popular

Citigroup Inc. agreed to sell its consumer banking business in Spain to Banco Popular Espanol SA as the U.S. lender focuses on the world’s top urban centers.

The sale covers about $2 billion in assets, $2.8 billion in deposits, $3.2 billion in assets under management and 1.2 million customer accounts, New York-based Citigroup said in a statement today. About 950 employees and 45 branches will switch to Madrid-based Banco Popular, according to the statement.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat is seeking to cuts costs and focus on what Citigroup has called the world’s top 150 cities. The transaction will reduce the size of a portfolio of assets the bank has tagged for sale, which held $114 billion at the end of March, according to a presentation.

Mark Costiglio, a company spokesman, declined to comment on the terms of the deal.

Citigroup, ranked third by assets among U.S. banks, still intends to expand services for Spanish corporations, private bank and government clients, the company said. The bank said it expects the sale to be completed in the third quarter.

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