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Letter to Shareholders
Letter to Shareholders


Dear shareholders,

We are on a mission to ensure that Citi delivers to its full potential for all stakeholders.

Over the past three years, we have successfully put the foundations in place for the bank we aspire to be. Last year represented a significant step forward in our journey as we reorganized the firm to sharpen the focus on our five businesses and simplify our operations and infrastructure. Between the reorganization of the firm and the strides made in divesting our international consumer franchises, our management structure and organizational model are now fully aligned to our strategy.

At the same time, we continued to instill a culture of excellence and accountability to ensure alignment with our shareholders’ interests. We also made progress on our Transformation and strengthening our risk and controls, although we recognize there’s more work to be done.

We know our journey will have its challenges. Whilst some of our businesses continued to eclipse their peers in the industry, others did not meet our expectations. We also faced challenges in aspects of our work to strengthen our data and regulatory reporting, an area we are committed to getting right.

Despite some of the headwinds we faced, we continue to stay the course and strongly believe in the deliberate path we set at Investor Day in 2022. We said this was a multi-year journey and we will face challenges as we execute. Nonetheless, the changes we have made to the firm and the discipline and accountability we put in place over the past few years will allow us to truly transform our company for the long term.

We are still firmly on track to meet the medium-term financial targets we set at Investor Day, including achieving an 11-12% Return on Tangible Common Equity (RoTCE)[1]. Our business model is resilient and well-diversified. Our balance sheet is strong. We have ample liquidity and capital. We remain confident in our ability to generate higher returns over the long term and return capital to shareholders.

Our business performance

A number of notable items that occurred during a disappointing fourth quarter negatively impacted our earnings for 2023. We delivered $9.2 billion in net income on revenues of $78.5 billion. Our RoTCE[2] was 4.9%. Still, we met our full-year expense guidance and increased our Common Equity Tier 1 Capital ratio to approximately 13.4%. We grew tangible book value per share[2] by 6% to $86.19 and returned roughly $6 billion in capital to shareholders in the form of common dividends and share repurchases.

At Investor Day, we laid out a clear, compelling vision for the firm: to be the preeminent banking partner for institutions with cross-border needs, a global leader in wealth management and a valued personal bank in our home market. We’ve been executing a strategy to bring this vision to life through our five interconnected businesses — Services, Markets, Banking, Wealth and U.S. Personal Banking.

Our Services business had a record year in 2023 as we maintained our leadership in Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS), with client wins up 27% and cross-border transactions up 15%. In Securities Services, we had roughly $25 trillion in assets under custody and administration, up 13% during 2023. And we continued to relentlessly innovate for our clients with products such as 24/7 USD Clearing, Payments Express and Citi Token Services, which enable clients to facilitate cross-border payments and access automated trade finance solutions around the clock.

Our Markets business delivered a solid performance for the year with good underlying momentum in Equities and continued growth in Prime balances. We retained a leading position in Fixed Income and further optimized our model with the exit of marginal businesses. Overall, Markets revenues decreased 6% from a very strong performance in 2022. As we look ahead, our franchise remains well positioned with both corporate and investor clients, and we continue to take actions to improve returns by allocating capital to products that meet client demand and generate a strong return profile.

Banking remains a key part of our strategy. Whilst revenues for the business fell 15% in 2023, largely driven by a weaker wallet globally, we are focused on improving wallet share in the near term. Our M&A business experienced significant momentum in the back half of 2023. Throughout the year, we led on several global transactions larger than $10 billion. We have also reorganized our three lines of business — Investment Banking, Corporate Banking and Commercial Banking — under one umbrella to strengthen synergies amongst them. We look forward to welcoming Vis Raghavan later this year to lead the franchise and bring an additional intensity to our Banking business.

We continue to make headway in Wealth as we grow our presence in Asia and modernize the digital experience for clients. In 2023, we added $56 billion in client balances and broadened our Citi Wealth at Work offering. However, Wealth revenues were down 5% from 2022, and we recognize there is more work to be done. With Andy Sieg having returned to Citi to run the Wealth business, we are well-positioned to capture the extraordinary wealth creation set to take place over the next decade.

U.S. Personal Banking continued to show excellent momentum last year as revenues increased 14%, driven largely by a rebound in borrowing across Cards and solid spending in Branded Cards. We continued to innovate for clients with new products and offerings, including the launch of Citi Travel with powered by Rocket Travel by Agoda. In Retail Banking, we launched Simplified Banking, which uses a tiered approach to unlock enhanced benefits, similar to an airline or hotel rewards program. And in Retail Services, we celebrated the 20-year milestone of our partnership with The Home Depot, in addition to launching a number of new products and other partner relationships.

Operating with increased rigor and accountability

In September, we took our boldest step yet to fulfill Citi’s potential, announcing the most consequential series of changes to how we run the bank since the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Aligning our organizational structure with our strategy will help us build a simpler Citi, enabling us to be less bureaucratic and more focused on clients.

The leaders of our five core businesses now sit at my leadership table, giving them greater influence on Citi’s strategy and execution, as well as greater accountability for realizing synergies and delivering results. We have eliminated the previous regional structures and lightened the management of our geographies. By moving to a more focused geographical and business management structure, we have significantly reduced certain internal financial management reports and eliminated more than 60 internal management committees so far.

Without these structures and related processes and meetings, our teams can now spend more of their time focused on what is most important — serving clients. To that end, we created a Client organization, led by our first Chief Client Officer. This group is responsible for bringing the full power of our franchise to clients through a centralized view of our client strategy, segmentation and coverage model, as well as capital allocation.

Our new structure is grounded in the vision and strategy we laid out at Investor Day, and these business and client changes support the 4-5% compound annual growth rate we set out to achieve over the medium-term. The changes allow us to provide far more transparency into the drivers of our business and focus on enhancing business performance.

We have now closed the sales of nine of our 14 international consumer divestitures and made solid progress winding down consumer operations in China, Russia and South Korea. We restarted the sales process in Poland and are well down the execution path for the Mexico IPO in 2025. Having made progress divesting our consumer businesses outside the U.S., we now serve a much more targeted set of clients across our five interconnected businesses.

Our number one priority

We know that to truly simplify Citi and unlock our firm’s full potential, we must continue investing in our Transformation. This is our multi-year effort to strengthen our risk and controls environment and data architecture, and it remains our number one priority.

The Consent Orders issued in 2020 by two of our U.S. regulators — the Federal Reserve Board and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) — underscored how we had underinvested in some of those areas for too long. The work to make up for that lost ground takes time, and we are determined to keep making upgrades and improvements.

This year’s priorities include accelerating our work to strengthen our regulatory reporting and data remediation. Those efforts will build on the progress we have made this year. Our controls are more robust, exemplified by our new wholesale credit risk target operating model. By automating processes, they’re getting better and faster: booking or amending loans in North America now takes half the time it once did.

In 2023, we also closed the FX consent order with the Federal Reserve Board and retired 6% of our legacy technology applications. Within the firm, our people are beginning to feel the benefits of the Transformation as we consolidate fragmented technology platforms, upgrade our data architecture and modernize our operating model for the digital age.

Our important role in the world

Our progress in the Transformation and executing our strategy is notable given the tremendous macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds we contended with throughout the year. Ongoing volatility in the markets. Persistent inflation. Devastating conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. The disruptive potential of AI. The list goes on.

Yet challenging environments such as these are precisely where Citi thrives. Our global network and mindset uniquely position us to support clients and communities around the world during difficult times. When three regional U.S. banks and one global bank failed in early 2023, for instance, our robust balance sheet allowed us to work with other large U.S. banks to stabilize the financial system. We continue to demonstrate that Citi is a source of strength for our clients and a source of stability for the financial system.

For multinational companies, Citi offers the size and scale to help them compete around the world, without having to rely on a mix of local banks. We finance supply chains and partner with America’s top companies to bring products and services to American consumers at affordable prices. Around the world, we use our robust balance sheet to fund and facilitate transformational projects. In the U.S., we’ve been the number one affordable housing lender for 13 years in a row, which includes the financing of approximately 35,000 affordable housing units in 2022.

In addition, we provide a variety of products that can help to increase financial inclusion, and we work with community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority-owned depository institutions (MDIs) to reach underserved populations. As a proud participant of the OCC’s Project Reach, we are co-leading the workstream that is focused on strengthening MDIs. We are also engaged in initiatives to increase access to credit and reduce the number of Americans who are “credit invisible.”

Heads down and focused on delivering 

We are on a deliberate journey to unlock Citi’s full potential, and we have made some bold decisions over the last year to ensure we succeed. Our vision is clear. The strategy is set. The pieces are in place. A performance intensity is building.

I am excited about the work we have accomplished over the past year to simplify the firm and focus Citi’s power behind our five interconnected businesses. I am confident Citi is on the right path to meet our medium-term financial targets and deliver all the benefits of our firm to our stakeholders.

The road ahead will not always be linear, but our momentum and commitment will continue to carry us forward. We have the right people in place to get the job done, and we will not stop until we become the winning bank we know Citi can be.

Jane Fraser's sign
Jane Fraser
Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup Inc.


[1] RoTCE over the medium-term is a forward-looking non-GAAP financial measure. From time to time, management may discuss forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures, such as forward-looking estimates or targets for revenue, expenses, and RoTCE. We are unable to provide a reconciliation of RoTCE over the medium-term to its most directly comparable GAAP financial measure because we are unable to provide a meaningful or accurate calculation or estimation of amounts that would be necessary for the reconciliation due to the complexity and inherent difficulty in forecasting and quantifying future amounts or when they may occur. Such unavailable information could be significant to future results.

[2] RoTCE and tangible book value per share are non-GAAP financial measures. For more information, see page 47 of Citi’s 2023 Form 10-K.

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