Citibank Korea head office in downtown Seoul/Courtesy of Citibank Korea

Seoul-based lender sees revenue, profit drop in early 2019

Citibank Korea netted 60.1 billion won in profit during the first three months of this year, down 17.7 percent from a year ago. It is an affiliate here of global giant Citibank.

The Seoul-based lender said May 15 that its first-quarter revenue also went down around 5 percent year-on-year to 300.5 billion won because interest revenue plunged more than 10 percent during the period.

Non-interest revenue also decreased 3.9 percent while its expenses edged up 0.6 percent. Its loan-loss provisions and other allowances jumped 11 percent during the January-March period.

In other words, the lender languished in the first quarter in almost all indexes – basically, it earned less and spent more in the first quarter compared to the same period of last year.

Citibank Korea CEO Park Jin-hei admitted that the outfit racked up disappointing performances early this year but expected a rebound.

Citibank Korea’s first quarter results reflected a continued challenging external environment including trade and market volatility. But we are seeing some encouraging signs from strong target customers growth and increases in UPLs and global client revenues in corporate banking,” he said.

We will continue to focus on driving a client-centric culture and digital first to deliver our objectives of being the best for our clients and sustainable growth.”

UPLs are short for unsecured personal loans. Citibank Korea said that it saw strong growth in UPLs in the first quarter.

Personal loans are divided into two formats of secured and unsecured.

To get the former, people should offer something they own as collateral while they do not have to so for the latter.

Hence, the interest rates for the latter are typically higher than those of the former.


The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.