Citigroup sacks CDO bankers

20 December 2007

Citigroup has dismissed around another 30 staff members, although an announcement has not officially been made, Bloomberg reports.

Some 30 collateralized debt obligations (CDO) bankers have seen their jobs go only a week after Citi's new chief executive officer, Vikram Pandit, promised a proper shakeup of the bank plus cost-cutting measures.

Bankers working in Citi's structured-credit group have been fearing for their jobs after the sub-prime mortgage crisis caused the bank to announce minimum writedowns of $9 billion.

If the latest news is true, it would mean that Citigroup would be cutting a third of its CDO division workforce.

After investors have been wary of buying CDOs, due to sub-prime mortgage defaults, sales in the third quarter of the year fell by more than half compared to the same time a year ago, statistics from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association show.

"Issuance in structured credit, especially related to mortgages, is anaemic at best, with little likelihood of a recovery anytime in the near future,'' Andrew Davidson, president of Andrew Davidson & Co, warned Bloomberg. "My guess is you'll see more of these cutbacks across Wall Street.''

Citigroup was the biggest CDO underwriter for the first three-quarters of the year, responsible for $46.9 billion in securities, according to Thomson Financial.

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