(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc C.N said it is pulling out of consumer banking in 11 markets, including Japan and Egypt, as the U.S. bank with the biggest international business looks to cut persistently high costs.
The third-largest U.S. bank, built with a series of acquisitions spanning back to the 1980s, has been trying to slim down since the financial crisis to be as profitable as rivals. It has shed hundreds of billions of dollars of bad assets.
The latest exits were the result of studies the bank began in early 2012 to figure out which countries were not profitable enough for retail banking. Getting results took a long time, partly because the bank did not have standardized accounting systems across all countries to compare the units’ profitability.
The deliberate pace at which Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat is fixing its business underscores how hard it is to fix a business as sprawling as Citigroup, which operates in more than 100 countries. Corbat told analysts that in shedding the poorly performing businesses the company is also taking a valuable step towards reducing complexity.
Continue reading Citi pulls out of consumer banking in 11 countries, profit jumps on Reuters
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