Citi to sell Canadian subprime lending unit for undisclosed amount

A woman walks past a Citibank logo displayed outside the Citibank Plaza in Hong Kong July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc C.N agreed to sell its Canadian subprime lending unit to an investor group led by private investment firm JC Flowers and Värde Partners for an undisclosed amount, as the bank scales back its international consumer banking presence.

CitiFinancial Canada, which charges a higher interest rate than most mainstream lenders in Canada, has drawn criticism from some consumer advocates over its interest rates and fees.

The company offers personal loans that start at 27.99 percent and mortgage refinancing that starts at 10.35 percent, according to the company’s website.

CitiFinancial Canada was not immediately available for comment.

The Globe and Mail reported in September that Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan was among the bidders for CitiFinancial Canada.

The deal, expected to close in the first half of 2017, will not be material to its earnings, Citi said on Thursday.

Citi’s Institutional Clients Group advised the bank on the deal. National Bank Financial Inc was lead financial adviser to JC Flowers and Värde. Barclays Capital also served as financial adviser to the buyers.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta