July 20, 2024

Citigroup discloses billions in one-time charges and reserves ahead of earnings report Friday

Citigroup (C) is in the middle of a complicated restructuring. It made it clear Wednesday that its fourth quarter earnings report Friday will be complicated, too.

The giant New York-based bank said in a regulatory document it will take more than $3 billion in one-time reserves and expenses as part of those fourth quarter results.

They include everything from a $1.3 billion reserve build for currency exposure in Argentina and Russia to $780 million in charges related to severance costs and other aspects of a wide-ranging restructuring of the bank led by CEO Jane Fraser.

Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser attends a U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing titled “Holding Megabanks Accountable: Oversight of America’s Largest Consumer Facing Banks” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser. (Elizabeth Frantz/REUTERS) (REUTERS / Reuters)

It will also report a charge of $1.7 billion to pay a special assessment to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Other big banks will also be weighed down by similar FDIC assessments, which were used to cover the $18 billion in losses to the FDIC’s insurance fund from the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last March.

Citigroup had previously estimated this amount would be $1.65 billion.

The disclosures Wednesday did not include full fourth quarter results, so it is not yet clear how much of a hit these charges and expenses will apply to the bank’s bottom line. Its stock fell more than 1% in after-hours trading following the release.

In a blog post Citigroup CFO Mark Mason said “the items we disclosed today do not change our strategy.”

He added that “while we rarely provide information about the results of the quarter in advance of scheduled earnings announcement dates, we thought this was a prudent step in our commitment to building credibility and being transparent.”

Citigroup is paring back its ambitions as it tries to revive its stock price and remove decades of bloat. Fraser is trying to focus the company on serving big, multinational corporations, shed what isn’t profitable, and operate more efficiently.

She is exiting the municipal bond business and pulling back from consumer banking in various parts of the world, with plans to exit 14 consumer franchises in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Mexico.

She is also cutting jobs and reorganizing business lines as part of an internal restructuring that Fraser has called the “most consequential” change to how Citigroup operates in nearly two decades.

Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo, a longtime critic of the bank during its more challenging years, has made Citi its top bank stock pick for 2024. Mayo expects the bank’s stock to double over the next three years as it journeys towards profitability.

“I hate some of the company but I love the stock,” Mayo told Yahoo Finance recently. “I think what I hate is going to become less bad,” he added.

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