US banking giant Citigroup said Monday that it was eliminating about 53,000 jobs from its international workforce and cutting costs by 20 per cent after suffering massive losses as a result of the global financial crisis, dpa reported.
The US bank with the most employees cut more than 23,000 jobs earlier in the year. Monday's announcement would leave Citigroup with 300,000 employees worldwide from 375,000 last year, according to an investor presentation on its website.
Citigroup has been deep in the red for four consecutive quarters and currently has losses of more than 20 billion dollars. It is likely to post fourth-quarter losses of about 187 million dollars, Bloomberg financial news agency reported.
The bank now plans to bring forward plans to sell off some business units. In Europe, it has already sold its private banking business in Germany.
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, under enormous pressure after just a year in the job, made the announcement of the losses at a meeting of employees in New York.
In a memo to employees Monday, Pandit asked them to stay committed to their clients and customers ahead of what will probably be a difficult 2009, CNN reported. "Citi needs you to maintain your focus on helping them succeed because now is the time when lasting loyalty is earned," he wrote.
Other US financial institutions, such as JP Morgan Chase, are also believed to be planning further job cuts.
At least 160,000 jobs have so far been lost in the banking industry worldwide as a result of the credit crisis.
The financial institutions have already made combined losses of more than 700 billion dollars.
Citigroup's announcement is the latest blow to a fragile labour market already reeling from job losses - nearly 1.2 million cuts this year alone. In October, the US unemployment rate hit a 14-year high of 6.5 per cent.