(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc topped expectations for quarterly profit on Monday as a tight lid on costs and strength in consumer lending helped the third-largest U.S. bank counter weakness in its trading business.
New York-based Citi is the first major bank to report second-quarter earnings. Fellow Wall Street titans JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc report later in the week.
Bank stocks have lagged the market in recent weeks on concerns that net interest margins, a key measure of bank profitability, have peaked as the Fed gets ready to start cutting interest rates.
Citi’s interest margin declined slightly to 2.67% from 2.70% a year earlier and 2.72% in the first quarter of 2019. But the bank was able to make more money from its lending activities during the quarter and net interest income rose 2%.
Overall revenue rose 2% to $18.76 billion, driven by 4% growth in Citi’s consumer business as customers spent more on their credit cards. Branded…
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