$1.6bn loss is 'enormous progress' for Citi

US BANKING giant Citigroup reported a full-year loss yesterday but hailed "enormous progress in 2009", giving investors cause for cheer.

Citi, which has 9,000 staff in the UK, posted a full-year net loss of $1.6 billion (980 million), down from $27.7bn in 2008.

The group said employee pay and benefit expenses were down 20 per cent from the previous year, to $25bn. The company has reduced its direct headcount by almost 100,000 since the start of 2008.

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In the second major banking report from Wall Street this month, the firm said it had repaid $20bn of loans that it received from the US government.

Citi's losses for the fourth quarter were $7.6bn, including the government payback.

• Credit Suisse is to cut its total bonus payments around the world by 5 per cent in 2010 to finance Britain's new tax on bank bonuses.

The bank also said it would cut bonuses for its 400 or so top managers in Britain by 30 per cent this year.