Citi to put $3 billion to $4 billion in consumer bank

By Reuters
Posted Nov. 17, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.

Citigroup Inc. plans to spend $3 billion to $4 billion on its consumer bank to attract more business from its wealthy, urban customers, the head of its North American consumer bank said on Wednesday.

Citigroup “has renewed” its consumer banking spending on hiring, marketing, technology and infrastructure, Manuel Medina-Mora told investors during a presentation. He said the bank would fund the investment through expense cuts and the benefits of improving credit quality.

Citigroup has a relatively small U.S. retail bank branch presence and is trying to rebuild its customer reputation after taking three U.S. government bailouts during the financial crisis.

The bank, which is still about 11 percent government-owned, wants to attract affluent customers with new technology, including new types of Internet and mobile banking.

Medina-Mora, who is also Citigroup’s chairman of the bank’s global consumer council, said the bank hope to build a single global technology platform for Internet and mobile banking by the end of 2011.

He outlined his strategy for rebuilding Citigroup’s consumer bank at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch banking and financial services conference on Wednesday.

Citigroup shares were down about 1 percent on Wednesday at $4.18.

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