Citigroup to merge corporate, investment banking:source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup C.N is combining its corporate and investment banking businesses, in a bid to streamline and cut costs, a person briefed in the matter said on Tuesday.

Employees walk through the Citigroup headquarters in New York, in this file photo from November 24, 2008. big bank from failing. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Citigroup, built over two decades through a series of acquisitions, is struggling to break down divisions between businesses.

Corporate banking, which would provide clients with services including loans and foreign exchange trading, historically operated separately from investment banking, which offered services like merger advisory.

Over the last few years, Citi has been slowly combining those two banking groups. In 2004, a global banking group was created, although client coverage for corporate and investment banking remained separate.

For many of its clients over the last year, the bank has identified a single relationship manager to handle both commercial and investment banking needs.

The new unit will be overseen by Ned Kelly, head of global banking and alternative investments in the institutional clients group. The corporate and investment banking businesses are already combined in Citigroup’s financial statements.

Citigroup is trying to become more efficient after having suffered more than $50 billion of credit losses and write-downs since the credit crunch began in the middle of last year.

Last month, the bank received rescue financing from the government, and transferred to taxpayers some of the risk from its assets.

The bank also said in November that it plans to eliminate 52,000 jobs by early next year to cut costs, reducing its work force by about 15 percent.

The Financial Times, which initially reported news of the new unit on Tuesday, said the new unit was not expected to result in additional layoffs.

Reporting by Dan Wilchins; Editing by Bernard Orr