WASHINGTON — Citigroup (NYSE: C) threw an executive-studded party to celebrate the opening of a new branch in the nation's capital on Wednesday, even as the bank closes branches elsewhere.

The third-largest bank announced in December the closure of 44 U.S. branches and 11,000 job cuts, as part of new Chief Executive Michael Corbat's efforts to cut costs and accelerate the bank's recovery from the financial crisis. Since abruptly replacing Vikram Pandit in October, Corbat has worked to convince shareholders that Citigroup can improve its flagging revenues and revitalize its internationally-focused consumer bank.

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