|Citibank Korea’s main office in central Seoul is seen through a window in this file photo. Korea Times file|
By Yi Whan-woo
Citibank Korea will hand out 73.2 billion won ($56.3 million) in dividends to its shareholders this year, according to the company and the Korea Federation of Banks, Friday.
The amount will mark the highest in the past three years, including 2019 and 2020 when the dividend payouts amounted to 65.2 billion won and 46.5 billion, respectively.
The Korean branch of the U.S.-headquartered Citibank did not give dividends in 2021 after posting a net loss of 796 billion won in the phased shutdown of its retail banking business.
“The dividend amount will be confirmed during an annual shareholders’ meeting scheduled for March 30,” the company said.
Citibank said it has not complied with its earnings for the entirety of 2022.
The latest available earnings data is for the third quarter of 2022 when net income surged to 61.2 billion won, rising 198 percent year-on-year. It was at 38.7 billion won in the second quarter and 40.1 billion won in the first quarter.
The net interest income in the third quarter of last year ticked up 2.3 percent from a year earlier due to a flurry of rate hikes delivered by the Bank of Korea (BOK).
But non-interest incomes dropped 36.7 percent year-on-year as the company has been winding down retail banking services, and accordingly, the private wealth management sector has been shrinking.
Meanwhile, some industry sources speculated financial authorities may feel “uneasy” about Citibank Korea’s move to pay dividends to shareholders in the midst of growing public sentiment against commercial banks.
The major banks here have been facing criticism for sharing hefty profits among themselves and their shareholders, while many of their clients struggle with repayments