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Citi: Investment banking helps it weather a tough year

The ICG managed price and counterparty credit risk well, but regulators see control deficiencies across the bank that they demand be addressed.

Paco Ybarra, chief executive of ICG

While credit costs and reserves for expected loan losses at Citi dragged net income for the first nine months of 2020 down by 51% compared with the same period in 2019, the institutional clients group (ICG), its investment bank, provided a bright spot.

Fixed income sales and trading revenues were 42% higher year on year over the first three quarters of 2020, equities revenues were up 18% and investment banking revenues rose by 16%.

Paco Ybarra, chief executive of ICG, does not beat his chest when Euromoney asks for his highlights of the year. Rather, he talks about surviving well.

“There was massive price volatility in markets in March, when we still did not know how governments would respond, that also impacted counterparty credit exposure. We had to manage both price and counterparty risk through a dramatic increase in activity levels, processing a record number of transactions with the front and back office now working from home,” he says.


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