Citigroup’s Stewart Names Howle Head of U.S. Commercial Bank

Citigroup Inc. (C) expanded William Howle’s role in its commercial banking arm, making him the unit’s U.S. head, as retail bank boss Cecelia “CeCe” Stewart seeks to reverse a slide in profit.

Howle remains chief operating officer of U.S. consumer and commercial banking, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Sunil Garg, global head of commercial banking, previously oversaw the 1,000-employee U.S. unit, according to Andrew Brent, a spokesman for Citigroup.

Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit hired Stewart and Howle from Morgan Stanley (MS) in 2010 as part of an overhaul of the retail bank. Income from continuing operations at the unit tumbled 36 percent to $488 million in 2011, Stewart’s first full year in charge. Revenue fell 4 percent to $5.11 billion. Citigroup is the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets.

“As our COO, he has shown that he can develop strong teams and execute with exceptional efficiencies and results,” Stewart said in the statement. “He will bring the same energy and skill to his expanded role as we continue to grow our business.”

Howle’s unit provides banking to mid-sized companies and has increased lending for six consecutive quarters, Citigroup said in the statement. Citigroup had $6.4 billion of commercial loans at the end of 2011, according to a filing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Donal Griffin in New York at dgriffin10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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