Citigroup (C -4.4%) has cut the annual expense run rate in Citicorp's Institutional Clients Group by $1B to $19.5B in the two years ending last quarter, notes management on the earnings call. The efficiency ratio declined every quarter alongside (was 67% in Q4 2011), but ticked higher in this year's Q4 to 58%. As a reminder, management has a goal of a mid-50s ratio in 2015.
Beneath the surface of not-so-pleasing headlines on earnings, net interest margin at Citigroup grew 7 basis points to 2.88% in Q4. Management expects full year NIM in 2014 of 2.85%, the same as last year. Why is NIM estimated at 2.85% this year after rising to 2.88% in Q4, management is asked. Just being conservative, responds CFO John Gerspach ... there is room for upside.