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Big Improvement in Citi Delinquency, Earnings

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Delinquency sank and earnings jumped at Citigroup Inc.

Within the regional consumer banking unit, residential originations were $10.3 billion during the first quarter, earnings data released today indicated. Volume was better than the fourth quarter’s $9.3 billion but was less than half of the $21.5 billion originated a year prior.

Fourth-quarter 2009 volume as reported in the latest earnings report was lower than the $11.2 billion that Citigroup previously reported to MortgageDaily.com. A spokesman was unable to immediately reconcile the discrepancy by the time this story was published, but he did suggest that the $10.3 billion figure might have excluded originations from Citi Holdings, which houses CitiMortgage Inc. and CitiFinancial Inc.

(after the publication of this story, Citi clarified that total residential first-quarter production was $11.6 billion)

At Citi Holdings, the third-party servicing portfolio declined to $341.4 billion from $364.6 billion. The third-party mortgage servicing portfolio within the regional consumer banking operations finished last month at $191.2 billion, rising from $187.0 billion at the end of 2010.

Citi Holdings’ end-of-period residential loans were $146.6 billion, lower than $149.5 billion on Dec. 31 and $169.7 billion on March 31, 2009. The regional consumer banking unit’s mortgage holdings were $24.4 billion at the end of March, easing from $24.9 billion the prior quarter and lower than $27.0 billion the prior year.

At Citi Holdings, the rate of 30-day late payments on non-agency first mortgages tumbled to 14.28 percent from 16.84 percent on Dec. 31. But the rate was lower than13.73 percent on March 31, 2009. Second-mortgage delinquency fell to 2.49 percent from 2.73 percent on Dec. 31 and 2.87 percent at the end of March 2009.

End-of-period delinquency of at least 30 days on loans owned by the regional consumer banking unit climbed to 1.20 percent from 0.58 percent at the end of December and 0.56 percent on March 31, 2009.

Commercial mortgage holdings at Citi Holdings fell to $10.3 billion from $10.6 billion at the end of last year. Commercial mortgage delinquency fell to 4.29 percent from 4.73 percent on Dec. 31, 2009. A year prior, the delinquency rate was 2.30 percent.

Total earnings within North America retail banking were $1.6 billion, improving from less than $0.1 billion the prior quarter but lower than $3.0 billion a year ago. At Citi Holdings, losses before taxes declined to $1.8 billion from the fourth quarter’s $5.1 billion and the first-quarter 2009’s $9.1 billion.

Citigroup’s income before taxes was $5.3 billion — a huge improvement from the $15.1 billion fourth-quarter loss. Earnings were $2.5 billion in the first-quarter 2009.

The New York-based company said headcount was 263,000 on March 31, easing from 265,000 three months earlier and tumbling from 309,000 a year earlier. In addition, the company operated 1,003 regional consumer banking branches at the end of the latest period.

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