What will happen to Citi in Aus?

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Citigroup is merging its Smith Barney brokerage with Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit, but what will happen to its Australian consumer financing business?

Speculation is growing that the large Australian banks and HSBC are the prime contenders if the embattled US banking giant decides to sell its local credit card and personal lending operations.

Would buying a chunk of Citi be a sensible acquisition to bolster one of the Big Four? Citigroup is already the fifth biggest credit card provider in Australia, operating the card portfolios of Suncorp Metway and Bank of Queensland.

What will/should happen to Citi down under? And on an international level, should we mourn the failure of Citigroup's global experiment to offer a one-stop financial shop?

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