NEW YORK – Citigroup said Wednesday that it will cut 11,000 jobs, a bold early move by new CEO Michael Corbat.
The cuts amount to about 4 percent of Citi’s workforce. The bulk of them, about 6,200 jobs, will come from Citi’s consumer banking unit, which handles everyday functions like branches and checking accounts.
Citi said it will sell or scale back consumer operations in Pakistan, Paraguay, Romania, Turkey and Uruguay and focus on 150 cities around the world that have the highest growth potential in consumer banking.
The bank, the third-largest in the country by assets, did not say how many jobs it will cut in the United States.
About 1,900 job cuts will come from the institutional clients group, which includes the investment bank. The company will also cut jobs in technology and operations by using more automation and moving jobs to lower-cost locations.
Investors appeared to like the move. They sent Citi stock up more than 6 percent on a day when bank stocks were up 1.3 percent as a group.
Job cuts are a familiar template in a banking industry still under the long shadow of the 2008 financial crisis.
Banks are searching for ways to make money as new regulations crimp some of their former revenue streams, like trading for their own profit or marketing credit cards to college students.
Customers are still nervous about borrowing money in an uncertain economy. And they are still filing lawsuits over industry practices such as risky mortgage lending that helped cause the crisis.
Citi fared worse than others. It nearly collapsed, had to take two taxpayer-financed bailout loans, and became the poster child for banks that had grown too big and disorderly.
After a long stretch of empire-building, it has been shrinking for the past several years, shedding units and trying to find a business model that’s more streamlined and efficient.
Corbat became CEO in October after Vikram Pandit unexpectedly stepped down. Pandit had reportedly clashed with the board over the company’s strategy and its relationship with the government.
While the job cuts are among the first major moves by Corbat, they are in line with Pandit’s blueprint.