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Lack of integration to hit Citi profitability

That's what bearish Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney told Reuters at the the Reuters Global Finance Summit yesterday.

In her view, the bank is unlikey to be profitable for several years. Its strategy  was that its many financial services businesses could boost their revenue by selling products to one another's clients. "But that does not seem to be happening because the company has not invested enough money in integrating different units' computer and risk management systems," she says.

In a more colourful quote, she adds that "it would take Stephen Hawking four years to right that ship." 



Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 November, 2008, 03:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I had similar thoughts about Citi a couple of years ago. Everything was too disjointed, disconnected and basically not everyone was playing on the same team. We were looking at doing the mobile thing with them and I really don't think they had much of a clue, although they were sort of trying everything everywhere, rather than building on what I thought was a good foundation for a technologically enabled bank to build on. A good global presence and reputation. They should have been a shoe-in for internet and mobile based quality banking, but...we walked when we realised it was like a pirate navy with no direction home, and there were opponents with disciplined fleets. ie. Santander and HSBC although the former hit some bad weather down south and the latter was navigating a little more clumsily, however generally weathering the global storm better than most.

I note the rush (77%) of bank CEO's getting with the 'one' theme for global domination, lining up their black belt sigma sixes and facing off. Where's my old hat?

I 'd advise the banks to consider the 'old' days gone and wake up to a new one.