Citigroup reports surge in second quarter profits

Citibank New York Citigroup has been reducing the amount set aside for bad debts

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Citigroup has continued a strong second quarter for the biggest US banks.

It reported a net income of $4.2bn (£2.8bn) for the three months to the end of June, that's up 42% on the same period last year.

That comparison is flattered by a big, one-off charge taken by Citigroup in the second quarter of 2012.

The bank was also helped this year by a large reduction in the money set aside for loans going bad and an accounting benefit related to the bank's debt.

Excluding the accounting benefit and last year's charge, Citigroup net income increased 26% to $3.9bn.

Strong

Michael Corbat, chief executive of Citi, said: "Our businesses performed well during the quarter and these results are well-balanced through our products and geographies, especially in the emerging markets, where growth is being challenged."

Mr Corbat has been cutting costs since October, when Citigroup's board put him in charge after removing Vikram Pandit.

The bank's headcount was 253,000 by the end of the second quarter, down by 8 thousand compared to the same period of 2012.

As well as cost cuts Citigroup has been helped by its share trading business which reported sales of $942m (£626m) up almost 70% on last year.

Citigroup's results match those from its US rivals.

On Friday, JP Morgan recorded a profit of $6.5bn (£4.3bn) for the second quarter of 2013, up 31% from a year ago.

Separately, Wells Fargo reported a 20% rise in quarterly profits to $5.27bn as it set aside less money for bad loans.

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