RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: US banks' credit card war heats up; Lenders curb China travel after UBS banker departure ban

And here's the latest move of Goldman Sachs to expand its client base beyond the ultra-rich.

From CNBC: Citigroup, one of the largest issuers of U.S. credit cards, is revamping the rewards structure for its top-tier card to compete with offerings from J.P. Morgan Chase and American Express, according to a statement obtained by CNBC.

That battle escalated in 2016 when J.P. Morgan introduced its Sapphire Reserve card, which came with lavish perks and was so popular the bank initially ran out of the metal used for the cards. 

Now, Citigroup is joining the fray with a card that more heavily incentivizes users to funnel all their dining and air travel purchases through it. 

From Reuters: Several global banks including Citigroup and Standard Chartered have asked their private banking staff to postpone or reconsider travel to China after authorities there prevented a UBS banker from leaving the country, sources said

BNP Paribas and JPMorgan also asked their private banking employees to reconsider their China travel plans after the authorities' action against the UBS banker. 

The Singapore-based UBS banker, who is a client relationship manager in the Swiss bank's wealth management unit, still has her passport, but was last week asked to delay her departure from Beijing and remain in China to meet with local authority officials this week. Her identity was not known.

From Bloomberg: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is shifting a heavily touted business line into its wealth-management unit as the bank eyes expansion through products that can be pitched to the division’s customers as it hands oversight of the Marcus business -- its retail-banking effort, which offers personal loans online -- to its $1.5 trillion investment-management division.

The shift highlights Goldman’s evolving strategy with the customers it targets through its wealth-management business. The firm is increasingly moving beyond ultra-high-net worth individuals and widening the net to attract new clients.

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