Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. reported declines in first-quarter profits Monday on weakness in private equity investments and corporate banking, and the results also showed signs of continued deterioration in consumer and commercial credit quality.

However, the two largest U.S. banking companies said they were taking steps to rein in expenses. Citi took $110 million of pretax severance charges in the first quarter to account for an unspecified number of job cuts, mostly in its corporate and investment banking group. Bank of America said it would eliminate 1,200 more positions in the second quarter as part of an ongoing job-cutting program.

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