Citi to Split Banking and Credit Cards

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Citigroup(C) on Monday announced it was splitting its consumer banking and credit card divisions into two separate units, part of an organizational reshuffling undertaken by recently installed CEO Vikram Pandit.

The banking titan said its North American consumer banking division would be headed by Terri Dial, who published reports Friday said was joining Citi from Lloyds TSB Group's U.K. consumer banking division. Its U.S. and international card business will be combined under Steven Freiberg, who in August was promoted to co-head of Citi's global consumer group.

Citi also reorganized its business lines along geographic regions, headed by executives reporting directly to Pandit. Ajay Banga, Freiberg's former co-head of global consumer, will lead Asia Pacific, including Japan. William Mills will head up Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Shirish Apte will lead Central and Eastern Europe and Manuel Medina Mora will continue to lead Mexico and Latin America.

"Our new organizational model marks a further important step along the path we are pursuing to make Citi a simpler, leaner and more efficient organization that works collaboratively across the businesses and throughout the world to benefit clients and shareholders," Pandit said in a company statement. "With this new structure, we reinforce our focus on clients by moving the decision-making process as close to clients as possible and assigning some of our strongest talent to lead the regional areas and global product groups."

Citi shares have taken a beating since last summer, when a global credit crunch forced billions in writedowns from it and major Wall Street firms like Merrill Lynch(MER) and UBS(UBS).

The writedowns at Citi led to the ouster of then-CEO Charles Prince in November and Pandit's ascension in December.

Citi shares were up 5 cents to $20.88 in recent premarket trading.

Know What You Own: C operates in the financial services industry, and some of the other stocks in its field include Goldman Sachs(GS), Morgan Stanley(MS), Bear Stearns(BSC), Bank of America(BAC) and Lehman Brothers(LEH). These stocks were recently trading at ($167.25, +1.70%), ($46.65, +4.27%), ($10.56, -2.04%), ($38.58, +1.34%) and ($38.57, +1.85%) respectively. For more on the value of knowing what you own, visit TheStreet.com's Investing A-to-Z section.

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