Citigroup Enduring Trading Slump Along With Rivals, Corbat Says

Citigroup Inc. traders are facing the same slowdown in client activity that’s dragging on revenue across U.S. investment banks this quarter, Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat said.

“We’re right in line with what the others have said,” Corbat told the audience at an investor conference in New York on Thursday. He was referring to earlier remarks from senior JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. executives who indicated second-quarter trading revenue will fall at least 10 percent.

“I would characterize the environment as being OK, but low volatility,” Corbat said, declining to provide a specific forecast. He said Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach will say more at an event later this month.

Wall Street’s biggest banks are contending with tranquil markets after geopolitical surprises last year -- including the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s presidential election -- that fueled revenue from handling client transactions. On Wednesday, JPMorgan finance chief Marianne Lake said markets revenue tumbled about 15 percent in April and May from a year earlier. And Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said his firm’s second-quarter trading revenue will be 10 percent to 12 percent lower.

Read more: Wall Street traders crave action. April and May didn’t deliver

“What the markets really like, and when we saw things really kick back in last year, it was something to trade against,” Corbat said. That’s something markets currently lack, he said. “There are some things out there, some opportunities that will present themselves, but volatility is low right now.”

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