Citi axes 50 investment bankers in Europe, Mideast, Africa

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:34pm EST
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By Dinesh Nair and Seda Sezer and Sophie Sassard

LONDON (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote) has begun axing 50 investment bankers across its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division as a program of cutting 11,000 jobs hits the heart of the investment bank.

Citi announced the global cuts, equal to about 4 percent of the bank's workforce, in December as part of an effort to eliminate $1.1 billion in annual costs by 2014.

Back office areas like support and technology were singled out as those to be hardest hit, along with consumer banking in markets like Pakistan, Paraguay, Brazil and Hong Kong where Citi is scaling back its presence.

Three sources told Reuters that Citi has this week began laying off investment bankers in the division, with 50 positions to be eliminated imminently.

Of these, between 15-18 are at the managing director level, a source with knowledge of the plan told Reuters on Wednesday.

"The cuts began Monday and are currently going on across the region," said a separate source familiar with the matter.

"Most of the cuts are in Europe and there is an intense pressure to cut costs there. Senior bankers being asked to leave shows that."

Citi declined to comment on the size, timing or regions of the cuts, which followed swiftly after a 4,500-strong job cutting program in 2012.   Continued...

A man walks past a Citibank branch in lower Manhattan, New York October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri