Citigroup earned less from running a bank in Japan than its global chief executive officer’s salary last year, helping explain why the U.S. bank is considering selling the consumer business as Abenomics crushes loan returns.
The U.S. bank has begun approaching Japanese companies including the three biggest lenders, trust banks and regional lenders, a person familiar with the matter said this week.
'It is very difficult to make money from lending in Japan unless you’re in higher-margin consumer lending or if you’ve got a very large scale of operations like the megabanks have,' said David Marshall, an analyst at CreditSights Inc. in Singapore. 'In an environment in which interest rates are very low and investors are still somewhat risk adverse despite economics, it is hard to make money.'
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