Citi pulls consumer banks from 11 markets, posts higher profit

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 14, 2014 8:07 AM

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc <C.N> said on Tuesday it would exit consumer banking in 11 more markets, as the most international of the big U.S. banks looks to shrink its way to better profits.

Citigroup also reported a 13 percent rise in adjusted third-quarter net profit, helped by better results from its portfolio of troubled assets left over from the financial crisis.

Adjusted net profit for the quarter rose to $3.67 billion, or $1.15 per share, from $3.26 billion, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected earnings of $1.12 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It was not immediately clear if the results were comparable.

Citigroup's shares rose 2.2 percent to $51.01 in premarket trading on Tuesday.

The third-largest U.S. bank said it would exit its consumer operations in six Latin American countries, as well as Japan, Egypt, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Guam. Citigroup said it would continue to serve institutional clients in these markets.

"I am committed to simplifying our company and allocating our finite resources to where we can generate the best returns for our shareholders," Chief Executive Michael Corbat said.

By pruning its consumer businesses, Citigroup is going back toward an earlier company structure of focusing its extensive global reach on business clients.

The bank operates in about 100 countries and specializes in handling international payments and cash management for institutions.

Citi Holdings, the division that holds the bank's portfolio of troubled assets, reported adjusted net income of $272 million compared with a loss of $113 million a year earlier.

(Reporting by David Henry and Anil D'Silva; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)