Citigroup chairman doesn’t deny job cuts are near

Citigroup chairman doesn’t deny job cuts are near


Dubai: Citigroup Inc.’s chairman hinted Monday the banking giant will announce more job cuts later in the day, and didn’t rule out the possibility executives will follow peers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and forgo bonuses.

Various reports have suggested Citi may be looking to shed thousands more jobs through layoffs and attrition.

Speaking briefly to The Associated Press in Dubai on Monday, chairman Winfried Bischoff said the company will make an announcement about its plans at 9 a.m. New York time, an hour after a town-hall meeting for employees is scheduled.

He did not deny that job cuts are coming but declined to comment further.

Bischoff’s comments came shortly after he told attendees at the Leaders in Dubai Business Forum that it would be irresponsible for Citi and other companies not to look at staffing needs in the event of a prolonged economic downturn.

“What all of us have done and perhaps injudiciously we’ve added a lot of people over ... this very benign period," he said.

“If there is a reversion to the mean ... those job losses will obviously fall particularly heavily on the financial sector," he added. “Certainly they will fall particularly heavily on London and New York."

Some reports have suggested Citi could be eyeing cutbacks of up to 10 % of its work force. Bischoff said the company loses about 8% of its employees annually through natural turnover.

In his comments to the AP, Bischoff did not rule out the likelihood that Citi’s leaders would go without bonuses this year, a move that would effectively amount to a substantial pay cut for the company’s executives.

“Watch this space," he said when asked about lost bonuses.

Goldman Sachs put pressure on other Wall Street firms to reconsider 2008 bonus packages when it said Sunday that CEO Lloyd Blankfein and six other top executives will not get cash or stock bonuses this year.