By PALLAVI GOGOI
NEW YORK – Citigroup’s first-quarter income fell 32 percent on lower revenue from its investment banking business and a decline in consumer loans. The bank was able to set aside fewer reserves for losses as more borrowers were able to keep up with their debt payments.
The New York bank on Monday said it earned $3 billion, or 10 cents per share, compared with $4.4 billion, or 15 cents a share in the first quarter of last year. The earnings were slightly higher than the 9 cents a share estimated by analysts surveyed by FactSet.
First quarter revenue fell 22 percent to $19.7 billion from the same period last year.
As the economy improved and more of its credit card customers made payments on time, Citigroup Inc. released $3.3 billion from reserves set aside for losses, which helped boost first quarter income. The bank also set aside $3.2 billion for future losses, down 63 percent.
Revenue from investment banking fell 25 percent. Lower demand for Citigroup’s currency and interest rate investments led to a 22 percent decline in fixed income revenue to $4 billion. Revenue from underwriting municipal and investment grade debt also fell 19 percent to $851 million.
Citi’s investment banking results were weaker than those reported last week by rivals JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp.
Citigroup’s revenue from interest collected on consumer loans dropped 16 percent to $12.2 billion. The decline came because Citi has been writing fewer mortgages and has been selling off some of its credit card businesses. Total consumer loans were down 35 percent to $18.1 billion, and included a 50 percent decline in total credit card loans and a 17 percent decline in real estate loans.
Revenues from Citi’s international division rose 8 percent to $4.6 billion. Overseas deposits increased 13 percent to $163 billion, and loans rose 14 percent to $126 billion.
The bank also Citi shares were unchanged at $4.41 in pre-market trading.
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