Citibank chief to be removed
following scandals

Citibank Indonesia chief country officer (CCO) Shariq Mukhtar will be removed from his post following the alleged murder and embezzlement scandals that have left the banking giant’s Indonesian unit under fire.

Mukhtar will be moved to Singapore and his position will be taken over by Tigor M. Siahaan, who has served as the country chief for Citibank’s ICG Indonesia and country risk manager for Citi Indonesia, said Citibank officer Shirish Apte.

“I have asked Shariq Mukhtar, who has served as the CCO of Indonesia since 2008, to take on a new regional role based in Singapore with consumer banking responsibilities,” Apte said in a leaked internal memo sent to The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

 Apte did not elaborate on the reasons for the decision in the memo, but said “we continue to look for opportunities to leverage our senior talent against key business initiatives in the region”.

 Mukhtar’s rotation drew speculation as it was done amid Bank Indonesia (BI)’s fit and proper test to determine if Citibank executives were responsible for the alleged murder of a client by the bank’s debt collectors and the embezzlement of billions of rupiah of client funds that is currently being investigated by the police.

Citibank Indonesia corporate affairs chief Ditta Amahorseya said, “this decision is a business decision, not a result of the recent cases in Indonesia”.

“We have not been informed by BI of the fit and proper test results,” Ditta said in an e-mailed statement in response to The Jakarta Post’s queries.

Several Citibank Indonesia executives are undergoing fit and proper tests, which are among a set of sanctions imposed on Citibank after BI’s special investigation showed failures to meet standard operating procedures and to comply with central bank regulations.

BI barred Citibank from adding new clients to its wealth management business for one year and from signing new credit card customers for two years. Citibank is also not allowed to use third party debt collectors for two years or open new branch offices for one year.

According to BI regulations on fit and proper tests, if banking executives fail the tests, that could end their banking careers in the country as they would no longer be allowed to run a bank in Indonesia.

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