Citibank yesterday announced that it will cease offering commercial and personal loans from November 30 and concentrate on beefing up its residential lending through brokers.
According to Citibank head of mortgages Stephen Ramage, the decision was an Australian one and the result of the “tough commercial market.”
“Commercial historically represented about 15 per cent of our portfolio but we’ve been struggling to run at 10 per cent over the last couple of years,” he told Mortgage Business.
Citibank is now eying a greater share of the residential market where it sees potential for long-term growth through its third-party distribution channel.
“More than 90 per cent of our residential mortgages are written by brokers and we see considerable opportunity to grow our share of the market through this channel,” said Mr Ramage.
Mr Ramage sees declining competition in the residential lending space as an area of opportunity for the bank to increase volumes.
“Our absolute key focus is residential mortgages now. That’s where we want to invest and grow significantly; it’s about getting right bang smack in behind the big four.”
“We could certainly double our size when the market is right,” he said.
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