Galileo Embedded Finance Tracker October 2023 Banner

Citigroup Reorganization Could Include Layoffs of 10%

Citigroup building

Citigroup is reportedly weighing wide-ranging job cuts as part of its CEO’s reorganization plans.

Managers and consultants at work on “Project Bora Bora” — the in-house code for CEO Jane Fraser’s restructuring — have talked about cuts of at least 10% across a number of Citi’s major businesses, CNBC reported Monday (Nov. 6), citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

The report added that the discussions are early and those numbers could change, and noted that Fraser is under increasing pressure to revitalize the banking giant as it lags behind its peers.

“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.”

PYMNTS has contacted Citi for comment but has not yet received a reply.

Cit announced in September that it was beginning a major organizational restructuring that eliminates 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 in a presentation to investors, the chief executive was a bit more blunt: “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.”

October brought a better idea of what the company’s plans might look like, with reports of a staff memo showing that Citi was reviewing employee rosters to decide who will be retained, reassigned or laid off this month.

“Some roles will change, new roles may be created, and roles that do not fit our new structure will be eliminated,” the memo said. 

Citi’s restructuring is happening amid a wave of layoffs at America’s banking giants. Aside from JPMorgan Chase, the country’s five largest lenders have eliminated 20,000 positions in 2023, with more layoffs expected as the financial sector deals with ongoing impact of interest rates on the mortgage sector. 

And last month saw British bank Barclays announce 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.