Citigroup to sell Japan retail bank unit to SMBC


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Cue mass exodus of all the foreigners who use Citi in Japan. SMBC must be suckers to buy this business.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This sucks I doubt smbc will be able to manage this. I also read in the paper today that current Citibank customers will only be allowed to use overseas Citibank services for 3yrs.

Sadly this is another indicator of Japans decline, when the 3rd biggest economy isn't worth it for global banks that says a LOT! And it aint good!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

SMBC is the worse Bank of all Japanese Banks.

and i Mean SUCK!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There just any growth in Japan that leads to expansion so everybody's umping ship.....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This will be a disaster for SMBC. They are buying NOTHING. Truth is that it is not that Japan's economy is not worht it for foreign banks, it is that the locals have way too much cash on their balance sheets and can get away with providing shoddy services (and i don't count some old geezer or woman in the branch bowing and scraping and "helping" as a service). and JFSA picks relentlessly on foreign banks (both retail and investment). citi have been sanctioned and victimised in Japan so often it is ridiculous. so in the end they just gave up. Same for HSBC and StanChart who also failed to make money. this is a prime example of why Japn is still not as foreigner friendly as it would like to be.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What's with all the hate for SMBC? I've used them for years and I've had no problems.

Far more convenient than Citi's limited number of locations, too.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The classical music blaring through the speakers, free copies of President magazine in the waiting area, the seperated 'Citi Gold' part of the branch, random market data on screens, a one million yen minimum deposit (said like Dr.Evil) to avoid monthly fees, bilingual bank clerks who are underemployed and bitter; It was all a bit pretentious seeing as their service is actually no better or cheaper than other Japanese banks in recent years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Citibank is one of very few financial institutions to offer home mortgages to long-term immigrants who don't yet have permanent residency. If you're one such person, and you're looking to borrow to buy a home, get a mortgage with Citibank right now, because SMBC obeys government guidelines to the letter and will not even look at you if you walk in looking to get a home loan from them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


My understanding is citi doesn't to home loans, at least they didn't when I was looking for one about 8yrs back & I have had an account at citi for close to 20yrs, but after I got one elsewhere I haven't checked back so may have changed

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SMBC does home loans to foreigners, but you'll find most lenders don't like to loan to some one who doesn't have PR. so SMBC is no different there, if you do not have the right status why would they take on that risk?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've been very happy with Shinsei Bank over the past 10 years or so. None of the minimum deposit/balance fees like Citibank. I used to bank with Citi and got fed up with what seemed like a 2500 yen fee every time I walked in the door. Shinsei: Free ATM at any conbini, English website and online transactions, international wires... Also home mortgages without some of the fees charged by local banks. I have PR and got a mortgage with them very smoothly but PR is not a requirement. I suggest any Citi customers worried about SMBC to check them out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GW: Things have changed; I was there a few weeks ago and picked up the brochure also available online here: (or google for 'citibank japan home loan' and look for the PDF entitled 'Citibank Housing Loan Interest Rate Plans Dec 2014 ').

You have to borrow a significant amount of money (10M or more) and the fees are not cheap, but all you need to be is a resident of Japan with a sufficient income.

I've never tried Shinsei but have extensive dealings with SMBC and Citibank and use the former for my daily banking needs but the latter when moving money into other currencies or abroad. I'd hate to lose the superior international services that Citibank offers, though if Shinsei's are even better, I could certainly look into them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What blows me out is that the Umeda branch staff have NO English.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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