A flag flies outside the Citigroup building in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York.

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Citigroup is making David Chubak its new head of U.S. retail banking at a critical time for the third-largest U.S. bank.

Chubak, who held largely strategic roles across the New York-based bank since joining Citigroup from McKinsey in 2013, will report directly to Anand Selva, head of the U.S. consumer banking division, according to a memo obtained by CNBC.

It’s one of the first major changes after Citigroup’s Jane Fraser ascended to president and head of the firm’s global consumer bank in October, replacing Stephen Bird as chief of retail businesses at the bank. In fact, five years ago Fraser had a role similar to the one that Chubak is assuming now, signaling the rise of the 39-year old Chubak within the Citi organization.

The move comes at a critical time for Citigroup and CEO Michael Corbat. Recognizing that it lacked the vast branch network and cheap funding source of rivals J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America, last year the firm launched initiatives to raise retail deposits using digital channels and a revamped product set. 

Chubak will lead retail channels including branches, wealth management, mortgage and small business, as well as risk management, according to the memo. 

“David will be responsible for continuing to transform and grow these businesses while delivering best–in-class customer experiences,” Fraser and Selva said in the memo. “He will focus on driving scale in retail, expanding wealth management, rethinking our branch network, accelerating digital capabilities, strengthening customer value propositions, and charting the path to growth in mortgage and small business.”

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