Citibank wants to surpass National Australia Bank’s position as that country’s fourth-largest credit card issuer based on cards issued, according to a bank official.

John Larsen, Citi head of consumer banking and cards for Asia-Pacific, cited in a statement that tremendous opportunities for growth exist in retail banking in Australia.

“We offer value and transparency, and if we can continue to do so there’s no reason we can’t gain the additional market share to take us to number four,” Larsen said. “We’re a significant player in the credit cards market, and we’ve had success with a number of the partnerships we have in place. We also have our own branded credit cards business, which is a durable business.”

Citibank commands a 9.8% share of the card market by issuance, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. The market leader is Commonwealth Bank of Australia with a 19.8% share, followed by ANZ Bank with 18.2%, Westpac Bank with 17.6% and National Australia Bank with 12.1%.

The Australian credit card market is seeing a revival in credit and charge card use after months of sluggishness. Cardholders in Australia initiated 119.7 million credit and charge card transactions in January, up 3.5% from 115.6 million in January 2009, according to the reserve bank. The value of these transactions grew by 3.6%, to AU$17.2 billion from AU$16.6 billion. The number of credit and charge cards in circulation rose 2.1%, to 14.5 million from 14.2 million.

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