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Citigroup Hires Ex-BofA Executive Desoer for Banking COO

Citigroup Inc., the third-largest U.S. lender by assets, hired former Bank of America Corp. mortgage chief Barbara Desoer as chief operating officer of its banking subsidiary.

Desoer, 60, will oversee the governance of Citibank NA, the New York-based company’s consumer unit, and report to Gene McQuade, chief executive officer of the unit, according to a memo from McQuade. Desoer’s role starts Oct. 15, he wrote.

“Barbara brings to Citi a wealth of experience in banking and finance accrued during a 35-year career with Bank of America,” McQuade, 64, said in the memo. American Banker reported the hiring earlier today.

Desoer led Bank of America’s home lending unit and was once on the list of potential CEOs for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company. Bank of America became the largest U.S. residential lender when it bought Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2008, and spent the following five years dealing with fallout from faulty mortgages and foreclosures that have cost the bank more than $45 billion.

Desoer lost responsibility for about half of Bank of America’s mortgages when the firm created a so-called bad bank to handle troubled loans. She departed in February 2012, according to a staff memo at the time.

Her experience extends beyond mortgages. Desoer was responsible for technology, infrastructure and application development at Bank of America, which is currently ranked second by assets in the U.S., and directed teams that handled mergers and integration of Countrywide, FleetBoston Financial Corp., MBNA Corp. and U.S. Trust, according to McQuade’s memo.

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