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November 28, 2023

UnionBank to phase out Citi brand in early 2024

Union Bank of the Philippines is set to retire the Citi brand from its operations by the first quarter of 2024, following the successful P72-billion acquisition of Citi’s consumer banking business in the country.

Bankero, UnionBank’s President and CEO, Edwin Bautista, revealed that clients will experience a gradual transition as they receive credit or debit cards without the Citi brand name.

He anticipates the complete removal of the Citi branding by the end of the first quarter of the coming year.

Currently, there are approximately 1.5 million active UnionBank credit cards, and the bank has further expanded its offerings with the introduction of four new credit cards, catering to diverse customer needs and lifestyles.

These new cards include the UnionBank Rewards Card, UnionBank Cash Back Card, UnionBank Miles+ Card, and UnionBank Reserve Card.

Additionally, UnionBank’s efforts in the debit card space have yielded impressive results. According to BancNet data, the bank boasts the highest number of issued debit cards, totaling 12.9 million.

Bautista highlighted that UnionBank nearly doubled the number of issued debit cards, increasing it from five million to six million before the global health crisis.

Over the last three years, despite industry stagnation, UnionBank’s efforts have resulted in significant growth, and the acquisition of Citi’s business added another one million debit cards to their portfolio.

To signal this transformation, the Citi logo has already been removed from the Citibank Square Eastwood in Libis, Quezon City, which had served as Citibank NA’s consumer banking group’s home for the past two decades.

This building was part of several real estate properties and interests associated with Citi Square Building Inc., a component of the transaction.

UnionBank’s acquisition includes the takeover of the entire Citibank Square Eastwood building, along with the upper floors, as Citi used to own 70 percent of the structure.

The ground floor of the 19-story building will now host UnionBank’s flagship wealth management office, while the upper floors will accommodate the bank’s expanded workforce.

Bautista noted that many of the bank’s programmers have been relocated to the UnionBank Innovation Campus in San Pedro, Laguna, as part of their ongoing efforts to optimize operations and enhance services.