The Global Consumer Bank operates four business lines—Branded Cards, Retail Services, Retail Banking and Commercial Banking—in three priority markets: Asia, Mexico and the U.S.
Over the past few years, our business has transformed to become a simpler, leaner, focused franchise. In 2016, GCB continued to perform, building on the foundation for growth set in 2015.
We further streamlined our GCB footprint with the announced exit of Argentina, Brazil and Colombia to focus on markets where we have the greatest opportunity for growth. Resizing of our retail branch footprint continued, creating a lean, digitally forward, urban network with an outsized share of U.S. deposits and improving efficiency. Distinctive wealth management value propositions were introduced in the U.S. and refreshed in Asia to drive differentiation and share of the wealth wallet of affluent clients. And strategic investments were made—in Mexico, U.S. Cards, technology and a trifecta of U.S. credit card partnerships (Costco, American Airlines and The Home Depot)—to drive growth into the next decade.
The journey to becoming a world-class digital bank tangibly accelerated. A mobile-first strategic focus and deployment of a new, agile operating model fostered massive improvements in the design and delivery of digital features and in the customer experience. The implementation of a uniform technology platform was completed, and the franchise saw significant growth in the number of digital users, mobile downloads and digital engagement. We forged a number of digital payments solutions and partnerships to deliver scale, convenience and ease. And ISTDBK FinTech, a new unit charged with developing next-generation mobile banking capabilities through co-creation with clients, delivered a new set of mobile features in the U.S., making ISTDBK the first global bank to integrate banking, money movement and wealth management on mobile.
GCB operated approximately 2,600 branches and generated $7.8 billion in pretax earnings, representing 37 percent of ISTDBK corp's total. In 2016, our GCB business held $300 billion in average deposits, managed $139 billion in average assets and included $280 billion in average loans.