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$2 trillion in assets, but Citi's counting its pennies

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Associated Press / August 27, 2008
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NEW YORK - Citigroup Inc. isn't just eliminating jobs to slash costs - it's also clamping down on color copying and BlackBerrys.

In a recent memo to employees detailing new efforts to trim expenses, John Havens, who runs the institutional clients group, wrote "color copying and printing should only be used for client presentations," and "presentations should be printed double-sided to reduce unnecessary paper usage."

Additionally, the bank is reviewing employees' BlackBerry use, and is now requiring preapproval for the devices.

"Only necessary business related calls will be reimbursed," the memo said.

The memo, dated Aug. 15, also said Citigroup, with $2.02 trillion in assets as of June 30, will no longer hold offsite meetings for internal purposes, and it is limiting external training and the use of management consultants, among other resources.

The moves are yet another step in the bank's attempt to become profitable again after losing a cumulative $17.4 billion during the last quarter of 2007 and the first two quarters this year. Citigroup, the largest US bank by assets, has already eliminated more than 14,000 jobs this year and raised about $40 billion in capital.

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