Bloomberg — Citigroup Inc. (C) said it agreed to buy Deutsche Bank AG’s Mexican bank license amid plans to set up a local unit as the New York-based lender exits retail operations in the country. Terms weren’t disclosed.
The agreement doesn’t include the broker-dealer Deutsche Bank relaunched in Mexico earlier this year or any assets or employees the Frankfurt-based bank has in the nation. Citigroup will use the license in order to continue offering institutional services after it exits consumer, small-business and middle-market banking in the country.
“The acquisition of this license, which is subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals, facilitates the pursuit of our consumer exit and ability to continue our institutional operations in Mexico,” a spokesman for Citigroup said in an emailed statement.
Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser kicked off the sales process for its consumer, small-business and middle-market banking divisions in Mexico earlier this year, even as the company has long maintained an initial public offering remains on the table. The deal with Deutsche Bank makes it easier for Citigroup to continue offering services to large corporations and wealthy clients after the sale.
Deutsche Bank has “refocused its Latin American business” in recent years on established operations in Brazil and Mexico, where it is “investing and growing through our existing broker-dealer entity,” spokesman Jon Laycock said in an emailed statement.
The German firm opened a broker-dealer office in Mexico City in August as part of its push to focus on fixed-income and currency derivatives in the country. It’s part of a “new beginning,” Marliz Mejia, CEO for Deutsche Securities Mexico, said at the time.
After reducing its presence in Latin America’s second-biggest economy in 2016, Deutsche Bank has been hiring again, building a team with about 30 people in the Mexican trading unit of its global emerging-markets business, Mejia said. Those employees cover finance, operations, legal, compliance, risk and support functions.
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