Shakeup In Citigroup’s Consumer Banking Arm Announced Friday

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Medina-Mora out at Citigroup

A not-entirely-unexpected shake up has been announced in Citigroup’s consumer banking division. According to a February 20th article in the New York Times, Manuel Medina-Mora, the head of Citigroup’s consumer operations will be retiring as of June 1st. The too big to fail bank announced the impending retirement of the senior exec in a staff memo earlier this week.

Of note, Medina-Mora is also employed as Citigroup co-president, and will continue on in his capacity as chairman of the bank’s Mexican unit Banamex. 2014 was a tough year for Banamax, which suffered from scandals leading to criminal investigations in both the U.S. and Mexico as well as the firing of several senior execs.

The memo noted a replacement to Medina-Mora will be announced in the near future.

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Citigroup staff memo praises

In the memo, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat praised Medina-Mora for his role in turning the megabank’s mixture of retail banks all across the world into a cohesive global bank.

“The turnaround has been impressive,” Corbat noted.

However, Medina-Mora has faced criticism for his job supervising Banamex. Banamex has been highly profitable, but last year Citigroup disclosed that Banamex was the victim of a $400 million fraud by a Mexican oil services firm with a history of questionable business practices. According to knowledgeable sources, there was some discussion in management circles that Medina-Mora had been given too much freedom in running Banamex with not enough control from New York.

Regardless of the Banamex situation, Medina-Mora (who came to Citigroup when it bought Banamex back in 2001) is thought by many to be a highly influential deal maker in Mexico and throughout Latin America. He will remain with Citigroup as the non-executive chairman of Banamex.

Of interest, the staff memo said that Banamex CEO Ernesto Torres Cantu will not report to Medina-Mora, but directly to Corbat.