London: Global banking giant Citigroup is closing down its Doxford call centre and CitiFinancial branches in the country, which could result in the loss of about 700 jobs, says a media report.
“Citigroup announced plans yesterday to extricate itself completely from new sub-prime lending in Britain, with the loss of up to 700 jobs,” The Times reported on Tuesday.
The bank is closing down Future Mortgages, its mortgage operation, and CitiFinancial, its unsecured loans business. It would close down 49 CitiFinancial branches in the country.
According to the report, the bank said it planned to close down its Doxford call centre operation near Sunderland, where 400 people are employed, and 49 CitiFinancial branches, employing 300 people.
“The bank has entered into consultation with the staff affected. Some may be offered jobs elsewhere in the group,” the daily said in an article published in its online edition.
Citigroup had acquired these businesses in 2000 and 2001. It started to wind down new loans to sub-prime customers three years ago.
Future Mortgages specialised in providing the first and the second mortgages to sub-prime borrowers applying through brokers and other intermediaries. CitiFinancial, the bank’s main sub-prime brand, provided unsecured loans to borrowers introduced through intermediaries, the report said.
Quoting business manager for Citigroup’s British consumer business, Bert Pijls, the newspaper said that after a strategic review, the two operations had not been identified as areas for growth.
The banking major has been battered by the US subprime crisis and its India-born Chief Executive Vikram Pandit had announced plans to cut about 9,000 jobs worldwide.