Banking

Citigroup CFO sees no impact from China’s regulatory crackdown

Citigroup’s chief financial officer said China’s recent moves to crack down on companies isn’t likely to harm the bank’s business across the Asia-Pacific region.

While Citigroup has decided to exit retail banking operations in some Asian markets, it will continue to offer services to large corporations in the region through its institutional-clients group, Mark Mason said on a conference call Friday for fixed-income investors. That means the bank is monitoring the situation in China “very closely,” he said.

“We continue to serve multinational companies and our local champions through this ICG business that we have,” Mason said in response to a question. “We don’t anticipate any impact from some of the Chinese regulatory crackdowns, as you characterize them.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission halted initial public offerings of Chinese companies on Friday, citing the need for better disclosures of risks posed to shareholders. That move came after China proposed rules requiring almost all companies seeking overseas listings to undergo a cybersecurity review, which would significantly enhance its oversight.

Mason also discussed the pandemic, saying Citigroup will continue to use local health data and guidance from public officials as it crafts plans to return workers to offices. This week, the firm went back to requiring employees to wear masks in the office regardless of their vaccination status.

“We’ll continue to be led by data, whether that’s data around returning to the office or data around wearing face masks,” Mason said. “Because that’s the right thing to do.”



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