Citigroup says it's open to expanding bank-branch footprint

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Citigroup might be getting in on the branch expansion game.

The bank is open to adding branches in cities where it has a high population of cardholders and where its largest co-brand card partners are based, Anand Selva, head of the lender's U.S. consumer unit, told investors at a conference on Tuesday.

He presented a slide show illustrating the firm has a high concentration of cardholders and ATMs in states such as Texas, North Carolina and Ohio.

"We are open to adding physical distribution but we want to do it where we start to see concentration of client activity outside our existing markets," Selva said. "It will be about going to where our customers already are."

The move is part of Citigroup's push to offer more banking products to the customers in its cards business, the second-largest in the country. The firm has been offering rewards like airline miles and credit card points to card customers who also open a bank account at Citigroup.

Lenders including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have been opening branches to boost deposits in new markets. Citigroup has long had the smallest footprint among the biggest U.S. consumer banks, with 687 branches across the six metropolitan areas of New York, Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Bloomberg News