Axis Bank Completes Acquisition of Citibank’s India Business; What It Means For Customers

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Mumbai-headquartered Axis Bank has completed the acquisition of the India consumer business of the Citigroup-owned foreign bank Citibank for Rs 12,325 crore. The deal, announced in March 2022, will see India’s third largest private sector bank absorbing Citibank’s consumer businesses covering loans, credit cards, wealth management and retail banking operations in India.

Axis Bank, on March 1, put out a video advertisement to welcome the 30 lakh plus customers of Citibank. “Finding the familiar in the new, is a wonderful thing. Welcome to a dil se open world that feels less new, more you,” Axis Bank tweeted on March 1.

The acquisition has taken almost a year, after being announced in March, 2022. Just days ago, Citibank took down its signboard from its landmark Kanak Building office on Kolkata’s Chowringhee road – the place where the bank started its operations in India in 1902. In 2021, Citigroup announced its plans of exiting 13 international consumer banking markets, shifting its focus to wealth management and away from retail banking in places where it is small.

In a stock exchange filing last week, Axis Bank had informed that it had acquired the consent of Citibank’s customers for taking over the business.

What will change for the customers?

Axis Bank said that Citibank’s customers will be benefited from its augmented scale, larger geographical reach and width of products and offerings. Axis bank will gain access to seven offices, 21 branches and 499 ATMs across 18 cities in India.

Citibank has now put out a list of answers to customers’ common queries about the transition process. 

1. Your bank account numbers, credit and debit card numbers, chequebooks, and IFSC will remain the same.

2. Citi Mobile App or Citibank Online will remain functional.

3. The earning ratio and redemption process of the reward points in both credit and debit cards will remain the same.

4. If you have an insurance policy availed through Citi India, the features would remain the same and will continue to be serviced by Axis Bank.

5. You will be able to access any Axis Bank ATM. The number of free transactions currently available to you at Citibank ATMs will be extended to Axis Bank ATMs. However, any charges currently applicable over and above free transactions at Citibank ATMs will be charged on transactions at Axis Bank ATMs too.

6. Notably, the Citigold ‘Global Banking Privileges’ will cease today.

7. Citi NRI bank account: The existing NRI deposits (NRE/NRO/FCNR) will continue to earn interest as per the rates they were earning on their Citi deposits. But, any new NRI deposits will be as per Axis Bank’s rates.

8. Your investments in mutual funds, PMS, or AIF will be transferred to Axis Bank.

9. Citibank home loan: If you have a home loan that is benchmarked to Citibank mortgage prime lending rate, base rate, or marginal cost of lending rate (MCLR), the same will not undergo any change. In case of any change during the course of the transition, Axis Bank will update the borrowers.

10. Dispute with Citi credit card: In this case, getting a resolution to your card complaints might be difficult.

Though both the banks have said the customers will not face any issues, reports claims they will have to undergo a Know Your Customer (KYC) routine again. However, this process will be carried out in phases to minimise the inconvenience to customers.

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