DUSSELDORF, Germany - Citibank Privatkunden AG, the German branch unit of Citigroup, said it is looking for partners to expand its network of branches.

"This is not a substitute measure," said Mirko Kaminski, a spokesman for Citibank Privatkunden. "We are looking to build up our network of branches, especially out of the cities."

Citibank Privatkunden currently has a branch in every German city with a population of more than 100,000. The bank will select a partner and then have a trial period before deciding whether to expand.

The HBV union for trade, banking, and insurance workers said that it opposed any move by Citibank Privatkunden to franchise branches, which would affect the wage contracts of ordinary workers. Unions represent some 470,000 German bank employees.

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