Citi to Cut Jobs as More Investment Bank Jobs Go

Citigroup is planning to cut as many as 900 jobs from its securities and banking division — and as many as 3,000 positions overall — as it grapples with turmoil in equity and debt markets, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Citibank logo on a sign
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Citibank logo on a sign

CNBC confirmed the layoffs Wednesday. "As part of our ongoing efforts to control expenses, we are making targeted headcount reductions in certain businesses and functions across Citi," a company spokesperson told CNBC. The cuts are intended to help cut Citigroup's expenses.

Citigroup has recently moved to reduce expenses in its Citi Holdings operations, which house businesses and assets it plans to shed. Before the financial crisis, Citigroup faced pressure from investors to rein in costs, which were at the time rising faster than its revenue.

The sources said Citi's plans could change as the bank moves to finalize its plans.

The job reductions at Citi, which amount to about 1 percent of their work force, are part of a larger trend. Job cuts at the world's 10 biggest investment banks are set to accelerate to a pace last seen in the 2008 crisis, a new study says.

Jobs Cuts at Investment Banks to Accelerate

According to the study, 2011 investment bank revenue is expected to drop 15 percent.

Revenues have fallen more than 10 percent so far this year, accelerating in the third quarter, the study by analytics company Coalition said, adding the full impact among staff was yet to be felt.

"While the actual decline (in jobs) for Q3 has been modest, we forecast that it will accelerate into the last quarter of this year and into the next, returning to 2008 year-end levels," the study said.

"Most cuts are likely to be focused in fixed income businesses, particularly credit." Revenues at the banks were forecast to drop 15 percent to $145 billion, the report said, as the euro zone debt crisis keeps markets in its grip.

The report looked at Bank of America, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse , Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotlandand UBS.

"Performance in (the third quarter) was particularly poor as revenues narrowed more than 30 percent after a flat first half.

Concerns about the global economy and European sovereign debt crisis continued to mount," the report said.

While the industry is suffering from a cyclical downturn, longer-term prospects are equally bleak as regulators are clamping down on some of the most lucrative activities, such as proprietary trading and over-the-counter derivatives.

Revenues from the advisory business — largely mergers and acquisitions — and from debt and equity capital raisings are ahead so far this year, on the back of strong M&A in the first half, but the third quarter was also weak.

In the sales and trading business, there was a contraction in fixed income, and a slight improvement in equities and in prime services, which have hedge funds as their clients.

A pronounced decline in year-to-date fixed income revenue to $61 billion from $79 billion a year ago has led banks to announce staff cuts, Coalition said.

Income from investment grade debt, loan trading, and distressed credit was the worst third-quarter performer, making a roughly billion dollar loss for the banks.

--Reuters contributed to this report.