Citigroup to Slash 17,000 Jobs

NEW YORK ~ American banking powerhouse Citigroup announced 17,000 mass job cuts on Wednesday as part of a global putsch by top executives to overhaul its operations and save several billion dollars in costs.

Citigroup, one of the world’s biggest financial firms, said more than 26,500 staff would be impacted by its overhaul, however, as it also plans to move over 9,500 jobs to “lower-cost locations” in the United States and overseas.

The New York-based banking titan has come under public pressure from shareholders to slash spending and it unveiled the job losses after a three-month review of its business.

“Ultimately these changes will streamline Citi and make us leaner, more efficient, and better able to take advantage of high revenue opportunities,” said Citigroup chairman and chief executive Charles Prince.

Citigroup, which has expanded aggressively in the last decade, employs some 327,000 staff worldwide and the layoffs will affect over five percent of its workforce.

Expenses have ballooned in the past year, partly as Citigroup has raced to open hundreds of new bank branches in the US and overseas while seeking to fend off fierce domestic competition from arch-rival Bank of America.

Senior executives said the job cuts would help generate cost savings of US$2.1 billion in 2007, $3.7 billion in 2008 and $4.6 billion in 2009.

Prince and other top executives told Wall Street analysts on a conference call that further reforms could be announced in coming months as they vie to nail down spending.

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