Citi to cut 20,000 jobs through 2026, CFO says

By Tatiana Bautzer and Manya Saini

-Citigroup will cut 20,000 jobs over the next two years, its Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason said on Friday, after the bank reported a $1.8 billion loss for the fourth quarter.

The lender, which currently has 239,000 employees worldwide, will reduce that headcount by 20,000 as part of a sweeping reorganization, Mason told reporters.

Citi also expects to shed a further 40,000 jobs when it lists its Mexican consumer unit Banamex in an initial public offering. It ultimately aims to reach a staffing level of 180,000 employees, Mason said.

Shares in the bank were last up 3.3% in morning trading on Friday after CEO Jane Fraser described 2024 as a “turning point year” for the lender.

Job cuts are “tough on morale,” Mason said. But he added that the reduction will not prevent revenue growth and said reorganization efforts will be done by the end of the first quarter.

Citi reported the loss due to $3.8 billion in charges disclosed in a filing on Wednesday that included reorganization expenses, a reserve build related to currency devaluations and instability in Argentina and Russia and a $1.7 billion payment to replenish deposit insurance fund FDIC.

The bank expects to report between $700 million and $1 billion in charges this year related to severance costs and the reorganization.

Fraser has rolled out a multi-year effort at the third-largest U.S. lender by assets to cut bureaucracy, increase profits and boost a stock that has lagged peers.

“Citigroup’s earnings looked awful with a big loss of $1.8 billion, but the bank’s underlying business showed resilience. The loss was largely due to exceptional items, as well as a big increase in reserves for credit losses,” said Octavio Marenzi, CEO, management consultancy firm Opimas LLC.

Rivals JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America on Friday reported lower quarterly profits, while Wells Fargo outperformed on cost cuts.

Citi’s revenue fell 3% to $17.4 billion in the quarter from a year earlier.

It was the first time the bank broke out earnings for its five businesses — services, markets, banking, U.S. personal banking and wealth, which were previously housed under broader divisions.

Revenue from markets, or the trading division, dropped 19% to $3.4 billion from a year earlier. It was dragged lower by a 25% plunge in fixed income revenue, which included some losses from Argentina.

In contrast, banking revenue climbed 22% to $949 million, led by higher investment banking fees that offset a slide in corporate lending.

In U.S. personal banking, revenue climbed 12% to $4.9 billion, lifted by retail banking and credit cards.

Services revenue grew 6% to $4.5 billion and wealth management revenues fell 3% to $1.7 billion.

The bank also set aside a bigger reserve to cover losses if its clients are unable to pay off their credit cards or mortgages or business loans.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru and Tatiana Bautzer in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Deepa Babington)