Citigroup to cut 53,000 more jobs after four straight quarters of losses

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Citigroup Inc. is cutting about 53,000 more jobs in the coming quarters as the banking giant struggles to steady itself after suffering substantial losses from deteriorating debt.

The plans, posted on the company's Web site, were discussed by CEO Vikram Pandit at the company's town hall meeting with employees Monday in New York.

The company had already announced in October that it was eliminating about 22,000 jobs. With the new cuts announced Monday, total head count is being reduced by 20 percent from its peak of 375,000 at the end of 2007.

The total work force reductions include thousands of jobs that will be lost when Citigroup completes the sale of Citi Global Services and its German retail banking business.

The New York-based bank has posted four straight quarterly losses, including a loss of $2.8 billion during the third quarter. The company said that in addition to job cuts, it plans to reduce expenses by about 20 percent, and that it has cut its assets by more than 20 percent since the first quarter of the year.

Citi shares fell 63 cents, or 6.6 percent, to $8.89 in trading Monday. The company's shares have been trading at 13-year lows.

Shortly before the town hall meeting in New York, Citigroup Chairman Win Bischoff said at a business forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that it would be irresponsible for Citi and other companies not to look at staffing in the event of a prolonged economic downturn.

"What all of us have done — and perhaps injudiciously — we've added a lot of people over ... this very benign period," Bischoff said.

"If there is a reversion to the mean ... those job losses will obviously fall particularly heavily on the financial sector," he added. "Certainly they will fall particularly heavily on London and New York."

A Citigroup spokesman said that while certain regions and businesses might have higher concentrations of job cuts, they would generally be across the entire company and around the world.

In his comments to The Associated Press, Bischoff did not rule out the likelihood that Citi's leaders would go without bonuses this year — a move that would effectively amount to a substantial pay cut for the company's executives.

"Watch this space," he said when asked about lost bonuses.