A household name across the globe, Citibank Bhd (Citi) is among international financial institutions that see Malaysia as a valuable component of its Asian presence.
"Throughout our 50 over years in Malaysia and as one of the leading foreign banks in Malaysia, Citibank has been an active contributor and leading player in the dynamic growth of the local banking industry.
"There are significant business opportunities in Malaysia as we look forward to continuing to invest in Malaysia as the economy transforms under the Economic Transformation Programme," said Sanjeev Nanavati, its CEO.
While representing a small market, the country still contributes to a significant 5% to the banking group’s Asian revenue, which in turn, accounts for 30% of its global revenue. In Malaysia, the bank is present through 11 branches, employing workers in businesses such as its Malaysian offshoring operations (3,000 employees).
Four years ago, the bank established its Anti-Money Laundering hub in Malaysia, which employs 750 people and serves a number of countries. The bank chose Malaysia as the location for its AML hub due to its communications and telecoms infrastructure and the availability of a skilled workforce.
The establishment of the AML hub also follows its decision to set up its trade hub more than 20 years prior, forming an integral measure to the bank’s growth in Asia; as trade in Asia and Penang had grown rapidly in the past two decades.
Among factors that the bank continues to find attractive in Malaysia are its strong fundamentals and demographics, with the country seen to represent an integral component to organisations seeking success in Asean. Additionally, the country’s efforts at creating a diverse economy also provide an attractive proposition to investors.
Citi has also benefited from accommodative Government policies, such as in the areas of establishing offshore operations and work permits, which also make the country an attractive investment destination.
"Citibank remains committed to our customers and will continue with our investments to grow our business in Malaysia,” said Sanjeev.