Citigroup profits fall 3 percent, hurt by credit costs

A view of the exterior of the Citibank corporate headquarters in New York New York

Citi's chief executive Michael Corbat said alongside its second-quarter earnings today: "Our institutional clients group had a very strong quarter all-around, including its best investment banking performance in seven years".

Citi, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo are kicking off the earnings cycle for U.S. banks, which are riding high after almost every firm passed Federal Reserve's annual stress tests with flying colours.

NEW YORK (AP) - Citigroup's second-quarter profit fell 3 percent as the bank had to set aside more money to cover souring loans, especially in its credit card business.

The trading falls limited second-quarter revenues at Citi's institutional clients group as a whole to $9.2bn, roughly matching the first three months of 2017 and 6% higher than a year ago.

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The bank's investment and trading operations had a better quarter.

"The $3.9 billion of net income helped generate additional regulatory capital". Analysts had expected $1.21 a share. "We are clearly on course to increase both the return on capital and return of capital for our shareholders".

Revenue was $17.901 billion, defying forecasts of a decline from $17.548 billion a year ago, driven by upticks in consumer and corporate banking. The bank promptly said it will double its dividend and buy up to $15.6 billion in shares. Non-interest costs rose 1 percent to $10.5 billion, compared with analysts' $10.2 billion estimate.

Revenue from fixed-income trading was 8 percent higher than the $2.98 billion that analysts had estimated. That cut the division's net income 12 percent to $1.13 billion.

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