Citi Warns of Job Cuts in the UK as Reorganization Unfolds

LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Citigroup (C.N) has informed its UK-based employees about the possibility of job cuts as the bank proceeds with a significant reorganization effort, as per a memo obtained by Reuters on Friday. This move has the potential to impact hundreds of positions in the country.

With approximately 16,000 employees in the UK, Citigroup has announced the initiation of phase two of its plan to streamline its banking structure. As part of this process, the bank will establish a consultation framework, enabling employees to provide feedback.

"We anticipate that the reviews may lead to a reduction in roles in some parts of the business, and changes to some other roles. In some cases, colleagues may be placed at risk of redundancy," said James Bardrick, UK Citi Country Officer, in the memo shared with Reuters.

The bank did not specify the exact number of job cuts for employees based in Britain and Northern Ireland. "As we take the necessary next steps to align our organizational model with our strategy, we’re committed to following all legal and regulatory requirements and, importantly, supporting our colleagues through these changes," stated a Citi spokesperson in response to Reuters.

Following CEO Jane Fraser's announcement earlier this month that Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank, would undergo management restructuring and job cuts, bankers have been bracing themselves for changes. This restructuring involves the bank's five divisions reporting directly to the CEO and reducing regional roles outside of North America.

Bardrick acknowledged the challenges of change, stating, "Change isn’t easy, and we recognize the uncertainty that many of our colleagues are experiencing. We are moving at pace to provide clarity while following our processes and allowing for needed input from team leaders." It remains unspecified which areas of the bank's UK operations will be targeted for layoffs.

Under local regulations, organizations must engage in consultation with employees when contemplating more than 20 redundancies.

Citigroup has announced its intention to confer with the London Consultation Forum (LCF) over the coming weeks as part of a collective consultation process. Additionally, Belfast-based workers will have the opportunity to elect representatives as part of the consultation process.

The bank has committed to conducting individual consultations with employees at risk of redundancy.

Fraser characterized these changes as Citi's most extensive reorganization in nearly two decades, with the goal of gaining greater direct control over its units and enhancing profitability and share price.

Recent reports indicate that Citigroup has initiated discussions with employees in the United States regarding potential layoffs. Support staff in compliance and risk management are among the areas under scrutiny. Additionally, technology staff working on overlapping functions are also at risk of job cuts. 

As part of the organizational change, Kristine Braden, CEO of Citibank Europe, will be departing the company after 25 years of service.

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