By Kylie Madry
MEXICO CITY – Citibanamex is spending 1.4 billion pesos ($67.8 million) to remodel more than 1,200 branches in Mexico with plans to expand, a top executive said on Thursday.
The bank, one of Mexico’s largest, has already begun the expansion, and plans to open 50 branches in the first half of 2022, Daniel Garduno, Citbanamex’s corporate director of commercial banking, said in a news conference.
“We are making profound changes,” said Garduno, as the bank looks to open slimmed-down, higher-tech branches in light of the sale of Citibanamex’s consumer unit, which was announced in January.
Executives said Citibanamex will open five new types of branches, from self-service centers to branches modeled after convenience stores.
“We’re looking to offer the best financial experience in the country,” Garduno said in a press release, emphasizing improved customer satisfaction in a country where 52% of those surveyed in a 2021 study said banks don’t care about their clients.
Executives said the sale of the unit, part of Citigroup Chief Executive Jane Fraser’s plan to exit international operations, would not affect client service.
“Our commitment to Mexico is more active than ever,” Alberto Gomez, Citibanamex’s corporate director of institutional development, told reporters.
A Citibanamex spokesperson told Reuters the bank was analyzing further expansion, depending on the success of the remodel.
($1 = 20.6470 Mexican pesos)
(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Cassandra Garrison and Jonathan Oatis)