U.S. and European banks including Citigroup Inc and HSBC Holdings PLC are mulling sales of parts of their businesses from branches to entire units in a nod to crunch times ahead, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Thursday.
While Citigroup may shed or shut several of its mid-size units, HSBC could exit all or parts of its $13 billion auto finance business, the Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.
Some executives estimate that Citigroup could dispose of as much as $12 billion worth of what are considered noncritical assets, according to the Journal.
Units it could possibly shed include Student Loan Corp., which is 80 percent owned by the bank; its North American auto lending business; Brazilian credit card company Redecard SA, in which Citigroup held a 24 percent stake as of September 30; and its Japanese consumer finance business, according to the Journal.
New Citi Chief Executive Vikram Pandit’s plans to streamline its operations include laying off about 20,000 employees and shedding business lines, the Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.
Citi had already said in April that it was cutting about 5 percent of its work force, or 17,000 jobs, and there have been talks of cuts above that number. The bank employs over 300,000 people in over 100 countries.
Citigroup and HSBC could not be reached immediately for comments.