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NEW YORK: Citi announced Tuesday it will exit its Mexican consumer banking business, the latest reorganization effort to steer the US financial heavyweight towards higher-return ventures.

The New York-based bank plans to cease operations in Mexico in consumer, small business and middle-market customers, but will maintain an institutional client business in the country to provide financial advisory and private banking services.

Chief Executive Jane Fraser said the move was consistent with a "strategy refresh" that included earlier moves to pare back consumer banking in other overseas markets.

"Citi is uniquely positioned to support cross-border capital markets activity and trade flows in and out of Mexico for our institutional clients and we will continue to make material investments in our institutional operations and market-leading hub there," Fraser said.

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Citi announced plans in April 2021 to exit 13 international consumer banking markets where the bank said it lacked the scale to compete effectively.

The businesses Citi is shedding in Mexico -- it's last in Latin America -- accounted for $3.5 billion in revenues and $1.2 billion in pre-tax earnings through the first three quarters of 2021.

The bank said the timing of the move is unclear since it depends on regulatory approvals, but could involve a sale pf the business lines.

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