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Monday, November 17, 2008

Citigroup to slash more than 50,000 jobs

Looks like financial services employees may need to make career changes

NEW YORK ( -- Citigroup said Monday it planned to cut more than 50,000 jobs, the latest move by the struggling bank to cut costs in order to weather the credit crisis plaguing Wall Street

In an investor presentation on its Web site, the company said it would reduce its staff levels to approximately 300,000 employees. As of the end of September, the New York City-based bank had about 352,000 workers.

It was not clear from the presentation what parts of the company the cuts would come from, but there was speculation last week that Citigroup was looking to layoff people in its investment banking and wealth management divisions.

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, who was appointed last December, is expected to talk about the job cuts in more detail at an employee town hall meeting held Monday morning.

The latest cuts are yet another example of how Citigroup is desperately trying to cut costs in the wake of the credit crisis. Over the past four quarters, the New York City-based bank has trimmed its payroll by 23,000 workers.

Citigroup, the nation's second largest bank by assets behind JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), has been one of the hardest hit financial institutions during the credit crisis.

Over the last four quarters, the company has lost more than $20 billion, due in large part to its ill-timed bets on the U.S. housing market.

Its stock, which is down 68% so far this year, has lost about a third of its value in the last two weeks alone amid broader investor nervousness about the economy and the U.S. banking sector. Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) stock edged lower in pre-market trading Monday.

There has also been speculation that big changes could come at the top of the organization. Last week, the The Wall Street Journal reported that the company is considering replacing chairman Sir Win Bischoff. Citigroup's board sent a memo to all employees calling the report "irresponsible and completely inaccurate" however. To top of page