US-headquartered investment bank Citi is to wind down its retail banking operations in the UK and instead focus its personal banking and wealth management business on a tightly focused group of wealth clients.

According to a Nasdaq report, the planned closure of its UK retail division forms part of Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser's plans to simplify the firm and boost its share price by exiting core businesses, including consumer franchises in 13 markets.

The news comes months after Citi said it would exit its Citibanamex consumer banking business in Mexico, ending a 20-year retail presence in the country.

If the UK plans are given the go-ahead, Citi said the "overwhelming majority" of customers not invited to move to its private banking services will not be affected until 2023.

The implementation, if set in motion, would be handled by Citi's wealth management business and the bank is undergoing a consultation process with the relevant employees.

The bank says the UK is a "strategic wealth hub" and a significant global hub for its institutional business.
Slimming down its banking operations will allow Citi to leverage its "key strengths" in private banking and investment services and focus on clients who require wealth management advice, it added. 

In January of this year, Citi said it would exit its Citibanamex consumer banking business in Mexico, while continuing to operate a locally licensed banking business in Mexico through its global Institutional Clients Group. 

Citi had operated in Mexico for more than a century and the country will remain among Citi's top institutional markets outside of the US. Citi will continue to invest in and grow those institutional banking operations, along with its Private Banking franchise.

Fraser said at the time: "The decision to exit the consumer, small business and middle-market banking businesses in Mexico is fully aligned with the principles of our strategy refresh—we'll be able to direct our resources to opportunities aligned with our core strengths and competitive advantages, focus on businesses that benefit from connectivity to our global network, and we will further simplify our bank."