Citigroup Begins Series of Wide-Ranging Layoffs

Citigroup has reportedly begun cutting jobs as part of its CEO’s companywide overhaul.

Workers at the banking giant were expected to be informed of the layoffs Wednesday (Nov. 15), with new cuts announced each day through next week CNBC reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Sources said the cuts include chiefs of staff, managing directors and some lower-level workers, but will spread to more rank-and-file employees by February.

Reached by PYMNTS, a Citi spokesperson declined to comment beyond this statement:

“We’ve acknowledged the actions we’re taking to reorganize the firm involve some difficult, consequential decisions, but they’re the right steps to align our structure to our strategy and deliver the plan we shared at our 2022 Investor Day.”

The news follows reports from last week that managers and consultants working on “Project Bora Bora” — the company’s code for CEO Jane Fraser’s restructuring — had discussed making cuts of at least 10% across a number of Citi’s major businesses. Analysts have said Fraser is under increasing pressure to rejuvenate the bank as it trails its competitors.

“The only thing she can do at this point is a really substantial headcount reduction,” James Shanahan, an analyst for Edward Jones, told CNBC. “She needs to do something big, and I think there’s a good chance it’ll be bigger and more painful for Citi employees than they expect.”

Citi said in September that it was embarking on a major organizational restructuring that would do away with several layers of management.

“I am determined that our bank will deliver to our full potential, and we’re making bold decisions to meet our commitments to all our stakeholders,” Fraser said in a news release at the time. 

But when talking to investors, the chief executive was a bit more direct: “We have taken hard, consequential, tough decisions here. They are not going to be universally popular within our bank. It’s going to make some of our people very uncomfortable. I am absolutely fine with that. … It is absolutely the right thing to do for our shareholders.”

Citi’s restructuring is happening during a wave of layoffs at major banks across the U.S. Setting aside JPMorgan Chase, the country’s five largest lenders have cut 20,000 positions in 2023, with additional layoffs expected as the financial world contends with the ongoing impact of interest rates on the mortgage sector. 

And British bank Barclays announced last month that it was cutting 3% of its retail banking staff in the U.S.

“We recently streamlined and simplified our U.S. Consumer Bank operating model, which has regrettably resulted in a limited number of roles being made redundant,” a spokesperson for Barclays said in a statement to PYMNTS.