Regarding the Aug. 20 Kyodo article “Citibank Japan to withdraw from retail banking business“: Both Japanese and foreign customers of Citibank Japan should pressure the bank to remain in Japan. As most U.S. corporations show zero long-term loyalty to a local community, the bank’s departure would not be inconsistent with that behavior. But this case is different.

The reality is that many thousands of foreign residents and visitors rely on Citibank’s unique banking products and services in a country where no local bank wants our business.

The story is not just about foreigners. Many Japanese customers are loyal as well.

It would be impossible to imagine the world’s third-largest economy without a single truly international retail bank capable of doing business in English.

Instead of abandoning Japan, Citibank should embrace the important role it plays here, both as a business and as a link to the outside world, and reciprocate the loyalty that customers have shown the bank over the years. Citibank must stay.

daniel baron

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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