Citi Asia to consolidate technology operations at new Singapore facility

Citi Asia to consolidate technology operations at new Singapore facility

Citi is investing S$220 million in a new 400,000 square foot facility in Singapore that will house three of its technology and operations departments and some 4000 staff.

Citi Singapore says the new facility at Changi Business Park will "cater for future business growth and increase in operations and technology functions into Singapore".

Citi International Technology Office (ITO) - which supports international consumer businesses - will move from Citi's offices in central Singapore to the new facility, along with Citi Asia Pacific Technology Infrastructure (CTI) which provides desktop, voice and network services at a local level to Cit units in 11 countries.

Citi Markets & Banking Asia Pacific (CMB) Operations & Technology (O&T), which provides securities, banking and transaction services processing for corporate clients in 16 countries, will also move to the new office complex, as well as Citi's regional processing centres for securities and funds administration and cash process management.

"The move will allow us to consolidate our operations, technology and support services under one roof, providing for greater synergies," Piyush Gupta, head of ASEAN, markets and banking, and Citi country officer, Singapore.

He says the new facilities will "enhance Singapore as a key centre of excellence for Citi, and a strategic hub for regional management, marketing, operations and technology expertise".

Citi will lease the buildings for occupation up to 2016, with an option to extend for a further six years.

The decision by Citi to move some of its Singapore operations from the centre to the edge of the city-state follows soaring property and rental costs in the business district, where all the majority of banks are based. Gupta told Reuters reporters that paying rents of S$15 per square foot in Singapore's central business district "doesn't make sense".

Citi said in April this year that it was axing 17,000 jobs under a cost cutting and restructuring plan that includes the shifting of 9500 roles to "lower cost locations" and streamlining of in-house technology functions.

However that was before this summer's credit crunch which could have further implications for the banks' 300,000 staff worldwide.

The bank has already posted US$6.5 billion in mark-downs and credit-related losses in the third quarter and a 57% drop in earnings.

Citi CEO Charles Prince has now now quit as chairman and CEO as the bank revealed it was facing additional losses of US$8 billion to US$11 billion on its holdings of mortgage-related securities.

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