Citigroup Inc. will pull out of the Massachusetts retail banking market in January, closing its remaining 17 branches and taking with it the sponsorship of the Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston’s Theater District.

The New York financial giant said it will maintain its private banking office for wealthy customers and continue to serve institutional and commercial banking clients here.

The bank has now decided to focus more on its target markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., said Andrew Brent, a bank spokesman. Significant investments are planned for “enhancing our digital channels and building a new branch model in our major, target markets,” he said in a statement. Citi’s retail banking presence in Boston, he said, does not provide the needed scale.


Soon after Citigroup opened in Boston, the economy entered a downturn, and the bank took $45 billion in government aid designated to help banks during the financial crisis. It was also one of the hardest hit by the recession and credit crisis and weighed down by legal bills, including a $7 billion settlement last year with the Justice Department over its sale of faulty mortgages.

Shares in Citgroup are down 7.4% YTD.