NEW YORK (
continued to be buoyed by its strong international franchise in the first quarter, as relatively weak North American revenue was offset by strength around the world.
Citigroup's international regional consumer banking revenue of $4.6 billion was 8% higher than in the first quarter of 2010, while net income of $1 billion is 3% higher over the same period. The net credit margin of $3.9 billion is up 16% from a year ago, with average deposits over the quarter rising by 13% to $163 billion. Average loans were up 14% to $126 billion, revenue from credit card purchases was up 20% to $29 billion, and investment sales were up 5% to $29 billion.
By contrast, North American regional consumer banking revenue of $3.3 billion was down from $3.6 billion in the fourth quarter and $3.8 billion in the first quarter of 2010.
While revenue in the securities and banking division was down across the board in each of Citigroup's four regional divisions around the globe, North America saw the biggest decline. North America revenue in this division fell by 34% compared with a drop of between 18%-21% in each of the other three regions.
The story was the same in Citigroup's transaction services division, where North America was the only one of the four regions seeing a revenue decline vs. the first quarter of 2010. North America now trails both Asia and a region defined as EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) in terms of total transaction services revenues.
Citigroup has seen its wealth management operations suspended from doing business in Indonesia, the world's fourth largest country, after a longtime employee was arrested and accused of stealing $2 million from clients.
Responding to the ban, even Citigroup bulls like Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove called it "
." Still, Bove argues the problems are part of a legacy of underinvestment in the bank's international divisions under former CEO and Chairman Sandy Weill, problems he believes Pandit is correcting.
Written by Dan Freed in New York
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