Citigroup’s Consumer Unit Completed Much of Planned Restructure

Citigroup Inc. has completed much of the reductions in jobs and branches at its consumer bank that were announced last month, said Jonathan Larsen, the U.S. lender’s global head of retail banking.

“Much of it has already been done,” Larsen said at a news briefing in Singapore today, without disclosing figures. “It’s very much in process.”

Michael Corbat, who took over as chief executive officer of the third-biggest U.S. lender last year, plans to eliminate about 11,000 jobs, including 6,200 from the consumer bank. He will also pull back or sell the unit’s operations in Pakistan, Paraguay, Romania, Turkey and Uruguay and reduce branches in countries including the U.S., according to a December statement.

“Our strategy is very much to grow our consumer bank and to invest in new forms of distribution as opposed to traditional branch outlets,” said Hong Kong-based Larsen, who was appointed to the role in June.

Larsen said that while the restructuring will involve reducing branches in the short term in some locations, the number of outlets may increase over time as the bank finds “more cost-effective smaller formats that are more convenient and are at more and more relevant locations to consumers.”

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