Citigroup Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to reduce its work force by 10,400, or 6%, and take after-tax, merger-related charges of $900 million, mostly in the current quarter.
Making its most detailed disclosure to date on the progress of the Oct. 8 merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group, Citigroup said its restructuring will also include exits from certain "nonstrategic" consumer operations.
The company said it would use savings from the restructuring to help fund investments in "high growth" areas.
The pretax expense savings were projected at $680 million in 1999 and $975 million the year after. The $900 million after-tax charge translated to $1.45 billion before taxes.
Co-chairmen John S. Reed and Sanford I. Weill issued a statement acknowledging that "market upheavals might obscure the impact of some of our revenue-enhancing actions in the short-term."
The restructuring "is an important step in assuring that the company's performance in 1999 and beyond is in line with the promise of the merger," the two chief executives said.
Analysts said the bank appeared to be on track toward meeting its goal of $1 billion in combined cost benefits and revenue enhancements within two years of the merger. "They are making progress," said David Berry, director of research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.
Some analysts predicted there is more cutting to come, especially in the corporate bank.
Mr. Berry said Citi is setting up a "cushion" that would allow it to make additional, though incremental, cuts. "It shows they plan to manage costs much more tightly going forward," Mr. Berry said.
The statement Tuesday hinted that additional charges could be recorded for the ongoing integration of Salomon and Smith Barney operations. Those two companies merged in November 1997.
Losses in the corporate businesses, especially in the trading operations at Salomon Smith Barney, are expected to dampen profits for the fourth quarter and full year. Even before the restructuring announcement, analysts said, the bank began slashing staff and pulling out of certain corporate businesses.
But analysts said what was announced leaves plenty of room to maneuver.
"They have left the door open," said Stephen Biggar, an analyst at S&P Equity Research. "If business remains weak, they can pull the horns in again."
The layoffs will fall hardest on consumer operations, which already make up the largest compenent of overall expenses. About 35% of the job cuts will come from U.S. operations.
The New York-based holding company would not elaborate on which consumer businesses it would consider exiting. John M. Morris, Citigroup's spokesman, said a number of businesses were under review and that divestitures "would have to do with which ones were judged not to be of the scale necessary to compete."
Citi said 53%, or $525 million, of the anticipated cost savings by 2000 would come from consumer operations, including the consolidation of call centers and other back-office operations as well as a crackdown on travel and on the use of consultants and vendors.
Another $350 million in savings, or 35%, would come from corporate banking, including the consolidation of offices and staff downsizing following this year's market turbulence.
Citigroup said it is consolidating the bank's and Salomon's global operations, integrating trading platforms, and exiting nonstrategic businesses like global fixed-income arbitrage.
The remainder of the cost saves projected by 2000 would come from asset management and staff functions.
Previously announced restructurings at Citicorp and Salomon Smith Barney are not included in the current program goals. Citi said there may be additional cost savings from the consolidation of London and New York office space.
Citigroup also gave details on pilot programs to cross-sell consumer products: 3,000 Travelers auto and homeowner policies have been sold through Citi's credit card call centers, and 1,000 Citi checking accounts have been opened by Primerica Financial Services sales representatives. In addition, Salomon brokerage customers who want mortgage information are being steered to Citi's mortgage operations, the bank said.