Top executives from Citigroup have approached Hewlett Packard (HP) for advice on how to revive the banking group's flagging business without breaking up the company.
According to a Financial Times report, which cites "people close to the situation", top Citi executives have been holding talks with executives at HP to learn how the IT group managed to "overcome a crisis similar to Citi's".
The talks between the two companies have focused on IT issues, says the FT, as well as "general strategy".
Citi is under shareholder pressure to separate its wholesale and retail banking units in a bid to revive the business and restore profitability, says the FT.
Three years ago HP withstood similar demands from investors for the break up its operations following a turbulent six years at the company which saw profits dive in the fall out from the dotcom crisis. In February 2005 HP ousted chief executive Carly Fiorina, who was later replaced by the then chief executive of US ATM manufacturer NCR Mark Hurd.
News of the consultation follows last week's comments by new Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit who said the bank would slash IT budgets and undertake a major re-alignment of technology and operations in a bid to cut the group's cost base.