* Manages wealth assets worth about $3 billion now
* Plans to boost banking deposits by 30 pct by 2020
* Has close to 3 mln consumer banking clients in South Korea
(Adds details on Citi wealth business in Asia, executive
HONG KONG, March 27 Citigroup Inc plans to
double its wealth management assets in South Korea to around $6
billion by 2020, setting up new offices and investing in digital
technology to attract new customers.
Asia has emerged as a key battleground for global wealth
managers, with higher economic growth, rapidly rising wages and
a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem producing rich clients at a
pace faster than in the west.
U.S.-based Citi, which is marking its 50th anniversary in
South Korea, said it plans to grow its target customer base in
wealth management by 50 percent by 2020 with new offices in
Seoul, Dogok and Bundang.
The bank, which has close to 3 million consumer banking
clients in South Korea, also aims to boost consumer banking
deposits by 30 percent, up from $10 billion currently and will
boost investments in technology.
"The number of clients visiting branches has fallen
dramatically," Brendan Carney, consumer banking head of Citi in
South Korea, said in a statement.
"We are responding to the changing preferences of our
clients by investing further in digitization that allows us to
serve customers wherever they want to bank with us."
Citi said it aimed to acquire 80 percent of new credit card
customers via digital platforms by 2020.
A focus on rich young Asians and new products has helped
Citi accelerate net new money growth at its Asia-Pacific
consumer wealth business in 2016 to about 10 percent, and
similar annual growth is expected over the next few years.
Anand Selvakesari, its Asia-Pacific consumer banking head,
said in January that growth in net new money, a key measure of
profitability of the wealth business, improved in 2016 from
around mid-single digit levels in the last four to five years.
In 2015, the number of high net worth individuals - those
with $1 million or more in investable assets - grew by 2.2
percent in South Korea, while Singapore saw a decline of 3.5
percent and India rose by 1.1 percent, according to the latest
available Capgemini Financial Services Analysis report.
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Richard Pullin)