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Citigroup's Business Model Is 'Not Sustainable,' Says Societe Generale

Of course, if Citigroup were to exit so many emerging markets, the company could be sacrificing its unique long-term positioning to ride these markets to fabulous profits. The company would have quite an identity crisis.

The Society Generale team pointed to JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) as a good example of a competitor doing everything it can to get its regulatory house in order, citing that bank's recent deal to sell its energy trading business, as well as other steps to lower its risk. "Last year, JPM committed its top management and a significant amount of resources to address its own issues surrounding the capital planning process," The Societe Generale analysts wrote.

JPMorgan on Wednesday received approval from the Fed to raise its quarterly dividend to 40 cents a share from 38 cents and for $6.5 billion in share buybacks from the second quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2015. And the CCAR results showed JPMorgan's minimum Tier 1 common equity ratio through the severely adverse scenario and including the above capital deployment would be 5.5% -- way below the Fed's estimated minimum Tier 1 common equity ratio for Citigroup under Citi's submitted capital plan.

So investors can expect plenty of announcements from Citigroup this year, as it works to improve its internal stress-testing systems and possibly sheds businesses in order to make the Federal Reserve happy.

Citigroup's stock was down slightly in early trading Friday to $47.42, while JPMorgan Chase was up 0.3% to $60.07.

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.
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