The consumer banking business of Citibank India is all set to be merged with Axis Bank from Wednesday —11 months after the deal was signed.
The process of rebranding has already begun, marked by the signboard at Citi India’s iconic Kolkata office being taken down. The social media were flushed with several Citi India employees posting nostalgic memories of working at the bank. While the merger is set to come into effect from March 1, Citibank India employees expect some time to pass before the actual integration of the two behemoths to come into effect in a meaningful way.
“Currently, we are also pretty anxious as how the structure and reporting will be going forward at Axis as lot of roles and responsibilities will be cleared in near future,” said an employee of Citibank India who did not wish to be named.
Additionally, Axis Bank will also have to do a product realignment exercise eliminating overlapping products in one segment, said another employee. For example, Axis Bank will have to restructure its product in the high networth segment, where Citibank was predominantly present, she said. This applies to all products including credit cards, retail banking and wealth management. “There is also a need to sensitise the relationship managers to the merger while handling the HNI clients,” she added.
Citibank India employees belonging to the consumer vertical are set to join Axis Bank for better or for worse as they expect some role revision when it comes to designations as the two lenders have different hierarchy structures, the first person said.
“Its an emotional day for all Citi bankers and for most of the BFSI Industry professionals who have been associated with Citi Bank having started their career and have grown leaps & bounds within organisation or outside,” Pradeep Anand, VP of Wealth Management, Citibank India said on social media platform Linkedin.
On the consumer side, there are some changes post the merger. After the transfer date, Citi branches & ATMs will be re-branded as Axis Bank and the timings will change, accordingly, Citi said in a frequently asked questions (FAQ) released a day before the merger. Where existing Citi credit cards are up for renewal, the replaced credit card will continue as a Citi branded card.
In case of mortgages, if the loan is fully or partially disbursed and the customer has consented, the same shall be assigned to Axis Bank. There will be no changes in service charges for existing personal loans and any changes in the future will be informed in advance, the lender said.
Post merger, Axis Bank will temporarily provide Citi branded consumer banking products in India and Citi India will provide certain services in respect of those products, the FAQ said.