Citigroup to name U.S. consumer chief in shuffle: report

venerdì 28 marzo 2008 07:53

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc, the largest U.S. bank, plans to hire an outsider to take over its flagging U.S. consumer business, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday.

Terri Dial, who runs Lloyds TSB Group Plc's U.K. retail banking business, will replace Steven Freiberg at the helm of U.S. consumer operations, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Dial will become global head of consumer strategy, but the 58-year-old California native's primary task will be to improve U.S. retail banking and consumer finance, the newspaper said. Freiberg, who used to run the bank's North American credit card business, would take over the card business worldwide.

The changes are the latest under Vikram Pandit, who replaced Charles Prince as chief executive in December. Pandit has been doing a top-to-bottom review of Citigroup to find ways to boost earnings and revenue, cut costs and help rejuvenate a stock price that has slid by more than half in the last year.

Separately, Citigroup is likely to announce a shuffling of the bank's structure, the newspaper said.

Citigroup plans to create Asia and Europe divisions, consisting of consumer and corporate banking operations in the respective regions, the newspaper said. Ajay Banga, who runs international consumer operations, would lead the Asia unit, but it is unclear who would lead the Europe unit, it said.

Pandit has also named new risk management chiefs, and installed former Morgan Stanley colleague John Havens to run daily operations in the securities unit, which includes investment banking, trading and alternative investments.

The newspaper said some bank executives consider the distinction between whether the bank is organized geographically or by business line superficial.

But the bank still must show it can grow amid expectations that losses will continue to mount from subprime mortgages, leveraged loans and deteriorating consumer credit.   Continua...

<p>Men walk past a Citibank sign outside its Tokyo branch November 5, 2007. REUTERS/Toru Hanai</p>