updated 2:11 PM CET, Oct 31, 2023

Citi to set up new Costa del Sol 'hub' to lure junior analysts with 'work-life balance'

Málaga, Spain Paul Stanfield Málaga, Spain

Citigroup, the New York-based, NYSE-listed, multinational banking company that's ranked among America's "Big Four" banking institutions, has said it is to establish a new "hub" in the popular Costa del Sol city of Málaga, in order to offer certain of its younger employees a better work-life balance.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the bank plans to pay the 30 "junior bankers" that it's planning to hire around half the US$100,000 or more it would normally pay newbie banking analysts in London or New York, but that it is betting that the candidates it is hoping to attract won't mind, because they will be working "normal" eight-hour days and five day weeks, instead of the sweatshop-like 95-hours-per-week conditions that young investment banking employees have, it's said, come to expect on Wall Street and Canary Wharf.

Málaga's famously beautiful Mediterranean setting, with more than 300 days of sunshine a year and cheaper cost of living, is expected to attract a high-caliber and diverse range of candidates, bank officials said.

"The message is clear: the key driver behind many junior [bank employee] departures is the search for a better work-life balance," Manolo Falcó, Citi's global co-head of its Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory unit, said in a statement.

“At Citi, we are listening.”

Citi said it was hoping its new program in Málaga will also attract individuals who might not normally have considered a career in investment banking. 

First woman CEO of a 'Big Four bank'

Citi's announcement of its new Málaga office comes barely a year after Jane Fraser took over as the bank's chief executive, becoming the first woman CEO of a Big Four bank. 

Fraser is said to have been supportive of the need for the banking establishment to embrace new ways of working, in the wake of what has reportedly been a significant wave of burn-out among banking industry employees around the world, owing to the global pandemic that began in 2020. 

Nacho Gutiérrez-Orrantia, head of Banking, Capital Markets & Advisory for Citi's European, Middle Eastern and African operations, said in a statement that the bank was “adapting to the new world of work as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, by embracing the hybrid model and offering all our staff greater work-life balance.

"We believe this will continue to be a competitive advantage in retaining and attracting the best possible talent.”

Would-be applicants for the 30 Citi roles on offer in Málaga may find more information, and potentially apply, by visiting the recruitment page on Citi's website, by clicking here.

Citi has operations in some 160 countries and jurisdictions around the world, and as reported, has been expanding its "mass affluent and high-net-worth client base" in the Asia Pacific region in particular. At the same time, like other banks around the world, it has struggled to maintain conventional bank branches for ordinary account-holders, including American expats, and has sought to move them online where possible.