Instead, the focus could shift to commercial banking, what Daniel Alpert, managing partner of Westwood Capital, calls the “dull and boring” businesses of lending to companies and consumers.
Dick Bove, a bank analyst at Rochdale Securities, thinks Citi will not only emphasize commercial banking, but will shift focus more overseas where the bank faces fewer rivals and could charge higher interest rates.
“If you look at domestic commercial banking, you have lower interest rates, you have higher losses, you have regulation and a high degree of competition,” he said. “If you go overseas, you don’t have any of those. You have tremendous growth.”
Citi manages 200 million accounts with customers in 160 countries.