Awards for Excellence 2015: Best global bank
Regulatory blessing for capital return highlights the increasing faith in Citi under the leadership of Michael Corbat.
Best global bank:
As it emerged from the global financial crisis and sought to rehabilitate itself, Citi, first under the leadership of Virkam Pandit, and since 2012 with Michael Corbat as chief executive, has set out to make the sprawling global financial supermarket assembled by the acquisitive Sandy Weill smaller, simpler, safer and stronger.
That strategy is bearing fruit and the bank has enjoyed a stand-out 12 months, as it progresses beyond balance sheet repair and disposals of rag-bag businesses with no coherent long-term strategic connection towards building a global universal banking model with staying power.
The bank now boasts capital that far exceeds pre-crisis levels and stands among the strongest in the industry. At the end of the first quarter 2015, its common equity tier 1 capital ratio was 11% and its supplementary leverage ratio was 6.4%. The company passed an important milestone in March when the Federal Reserve raised no objections to capital plans that include a common stock repurchase programme of up to $7.8 billion, as well as an increase of the quarterly dividend from one cent to five cents a share.