The base of consumer banking power at New York's best-known consumer bank is shifting to the Midwest, Citicorp has consolidated the operational reins of its massive U.S. branch system into the hands of Steven Price and Richard McCrossen, two veterans who work outside New York.

Mr. Price had been running Citicorp's California, Florida, Illinois, and Maryland-Washington units since the beginning of the year. With the change, the Chicago-based executive adds Citicorp's coveted New York branch network to his sprawling empire.

His cohort as operational head of consumer banking, Mr. McCrossen, is a Maryland-based technologist who helped to consolidate Citicorp's consumer back office. In Citispeak, the two executives are in charge of "Citibanking" -- a program designed to present a consistent brand identity to customers nationwide.

Their elevation is a blow to Pamela Flaherthy, the executive in charge of Citibank's 212 New York branches. Ms. Flaherty will retain her position, a Citicorp spokeswoman said, but will now report to Mr. Price and Mr. McCrossen instead of directly to James Bailey, the executive vice president in charge of U.S. consumer banking.

Mr. Price and Mr. McCrossen continue to report to Mr. Bailey.

The hierarchical change is designed to "flatten" a management layer and limit the number of executives who deal directly with Mr. Bailey, the spokeswoman said. The heads of Citi's domestic credit card and mortgage businesses also report to the executive.

In another move that signals a power shift in Mr. Price's direction, key members of Citibank's retail banking staff are being asked to relocate to Chicago.

"We're not far enough down the road to determine what job functions will move" the spokeswoman said. But "Citibanking headquarters will be in Chicago."

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