November 18, 2008 / 6:35 AM / 10 years ago

Citi to cut 150 wealth management jobs in Asia-source

SINGAPORE, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Citigroup (C.N) plans to cut around 150 jobs at its wealth management unit in Asia excluding Japan as part of a global restructuring, a source familiar with the plan told Reuters on Tuesday.

The job cuts, which will be implemented soon, are part of plans revealed by Citigroup on Monday to cut 52,000 staff globally by early next year in a dramatic move to restore the second-biggest U.S. bank to health.

The source, who asked not to be identified because the details are not public, said over 60 percent of the cuts will be in Singapore and Hong Kong. Citi’s Asian wealth management unit excluding Japan has 1,200 people.

A Citigroup spokesman in Hong Kong declined to comment on the numbers but said it expected a reduction in overall headcount in the region.

“We are repositioning our business to be more efficient and productive in the current difficult market conditions. As a result, some jobs will change and others may no longer be necessary,” the Citigroup spokesman said in a statement.

Citi’s wealth management unit in Asia including Japan managed $288 billion worth of assets at the end of the third quarter of 2008, down 7 percent from the same period a year ago.

The unit, which includes the private bank as well as Smith Barney Australia and Citi Nikko Cordial in Japan, earned net income of $59 million in the third quarter, down 58 percent from a year ago, according to Citi data.

UBS UBSN.VX, HSBC (HSBA.L) and Citi are considered the top three players in Asia’s private banking market. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar in Singapore and Tony Munroe in Hong Kong; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)

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