Citigroup Hires Judson Linville of AmEx to Head U.S. Credit-Card Business

Citigroup Inc. hired Judson Linville from American Express Co. to head its U.S. credit-card unit after first-half loan losses in the business climbed almost 10-fold from a year earlier.

Paul Galant, who took over the cards business in April 2009, is moving to head a new unit at the bank to develop consumer-payment technologies for corporations and governments, New York-based Citigroup said in a statement.

Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, 53, this year has overhauled North American consumer operations with new managers and strategies as first-half profit at the business tumbled 83 percent from a year earlier to $84 million. The bank hired Cecelia “Cece” Stewart yesterday from Morgan Stanley to oversee branch banking and personal wealth management.

U.S. credit-card lenders led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and No. 2 Bank of America Corp. have said they expect reduced revenue because of new laws and regulations limiting interest rates and penalties. A U.S. unemployment rate of almost 10 percent has contributed to higher consumer delinquencies and suppressed card spending.

Consumer borrowing in the U.S. fell for a sixth straight month in July as revolving debt, which includes credit cards, fell by $4.4 billion, the Federal Reserve said Sept. 8.

While first-half revenue in Citigroup’s North American branded cards business more than doubled to $4.89 billion, net credit losses in the unit rose almost 10-fold to $4.13 billion, according to the bank’s financial statements.

Linville, 52, was CEO of the U.S. consumer-services division at American Express, responsible for the consumer card, membership rewards and consumer travel business.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bradley Keoun in New York at bkeoun@bloomberg.net or Donal Griffin in New York at Dgriffin10@bloomberg.net

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