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Citigroup: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jun 17, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into the business model of Citigroup, one of the world's largest financial institutions, and analyze its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through a comprehensive SWOT analysis. By examining Citigroup's business strategy, we aim to gain insights into its operations, revenue streams, and competitive advantage in the ever-evolving financial industry. Furthermore, we will also explore the key competitors that Citigroup will likely face in the year 2023, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for this prominent player in the global banking sector.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Citigroup: Discover the ownership structure behind Citigroup and gain insights into the key stakeholders involved in the company.
    • The mission statement of Citigroup: Understand the core values and overarching goals that drive Citigroup's operations and decision making.
    • How Citigroup makes money: Explore the various revenue streams and business strategies employed by Citigroup to generate profits and maintain its position as a global financial institution.

    Who owns Citigroup?

    Overview of Citigroup Ownership

    Citigroup, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, has a complex ownership structure involving a diverse range of shareholders. Understanding who owns Citigroup can provide valuable insight into the company's governance and decision-making processes. Let's delve deeper into the ownership landscape of Citigroup.

    Institutional Investors

    Institutional investors play a significant role in owning Citigroup. These include pension funds, mutual funds, and other financial institutions. One notable institutional investor is Vanguard Group, which owns a substantial stake in Citigroup. Vanguard's investment in Citigroup is held across various funds, making it a significant shareholder.

    Additionally, BlackRock, another prominent investment management company, holds a considerable ownership interest in Citigroup. Its funds are spread across different financial institutions, including Citigroup. Institutional investors like Vanguard and BlackRock often have diversified portfolios, and Citigroup is just one of many investments they hold.

    Individual Shareholders

    Individual shareholders also have a stake in Citigroup. These investors can range from retail investors who buy shares through brokerage accounts to high net worth individuals who directly own significant portions of the company. While individual shareholders may not have the same level of influence as institutional investors, their collective ownership can still impact the overall ownership structure of Citigroup.

    Government Ownership

    Following the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. government acquired a substantial ownership stake in Citigroup as part of a bailout package. This ownership position was subsequently sold off, and as of the latest available information, the U.S. government does not hold any direct ownership in Citigroup. However, it is worth noting that governments around the world may indirectly own shares in Citigroup through their respective sovereign wealth funds.

    Employee Ownership

    Employee ownership is another aspect of Citigroup's ownership structure. Like many large corporations, Citigroup offers stock options and equity-based compensation plans to its employees. This allows employees to become partial owners of the company, aligning their interests with those of other shareholders. Employee ownership can foster a sense of loyalty and motivation among the workforce, as their financial well-being becomes linked to the performance of Citigroup.


    In conclusion, Citigroup's ownership is a complex amalgamation of institutional investors, individual shareholders, and employee ownership. Institutional investors such as Vanguard and BlackRock hold significant stakes, while individual shareholders and employee ownership also contribute to the overall ownership landscape. Although the U.S. government previously held a stake, it has since divested its ownership. Understanding the ownership structure of Citigroup provides a better understanding of the dynamics that influence the decision-making and direction of this global financial institution.

    What is the mission statement of Citigroup?

    Citigroup's Mission Statement

    Citigroup, one of the world's largest financial institutions, has a well-defined mission statement that guides its operations and strategic decisions. The mission statement of Citigroup can be summarized as:

    "Citigroup's mission is to serve as a trusted partner to our clients by responsibly providing financial services that enable growth and economic progress. We strive to be the best global bank, contributing to the success of our clients, shareholders, employees, and the communities in which we operate."

    This mission statement reflects Citigroup's commitment to its clients, shareholders, employees, and the wider communities it serves. It outlines the company's core objectives and emphasizes the responsible provision of financial services as a means to facilitate growth and economic progress.

    Serving as a Trusted Partner

    Citigroup's mission statement highlights the importance of building trust with its clients. As a trusted partner, the company aims to understand its clients' needs and provide them with tailored financial solutions. By offering a wide range of services, including banking, investment, and wealth management, Citigroup strives to meet the diverse requirements of its clients across the globe.

    Enabling Growth and Economic Progress

    Citigroup's mission statement underscores its commitment to fostering growth and economic progress. The company recognizes that by providing responsible financial services, it can contribute to the success of its clients and help drive economic development. Citigroup's global presence allows it to support businesses of all sizes, from small enterprises to multinational corporations, by facilitating access to capital and offering expert financial advice.

    Becoming the Best Global Bank

    Citigroup aspires to be recognized as the best global bank, setting the bar high for itself. This goal reflects the company's commitment to excellence in all aspects of its operations, including customer service, risk management, innovation, and corporate governance. By constantly striving for improvement, Citigroup aims to maintain its position as a leading financial institution and deliver superior value to its stakeholders.

    Contributing to the Success of Stakeholders and Communities

    Citigroup's mission statement emphasizes its dedication to the success of its shareholders, employees, and the communities in which it operates. The company recognizes that creating value for its stakeholders is crucial for long-term sustainability. It aims to provide attractive returns to its shareholders, offer rewarding career opportunities to its employees, and actively engage in corporate social responsibility initiatives that benefit the communities it serves.

    In conclusion, Citigroup's mission statement encapsulates its commitment to being a trusted partner, enabling growth and economic progress, becoming the best global bank, and contributing to the success of its stakeholders and communities. This mission guides Citigroup's strategic decisions and ensures its operations align with its core values and objectives.

    How does Citigroup make money?

    Overview of Citigroup

    Citigroup is one of the largest financial institutions in the world, offering a wide range of financial services to individuals, corporations, and governments. With a presence in over 160 countries, Citigroup operates through various business segments, including Global Consumer Banking, Institutional Clients Group, Corporate/Other, and Treasury and Trade Solutions.

    Global Consumer Banking

    Citigroup generates a significant portion of its revenue from its Global Consumer Banking division. This segment focuses on providing banking services to individual customers, including retail banking, credit cards, and wealth management. Through its extensive network of branches and digital platforms, Citigroup offers a range of checking and savings accounts, personal loans, mortgages, and investment products to cater to the diverse needs of its customers. The fees and interest earned from these services contribute to the revenue stream of Citigroup.

    Institutional Clients Group

    The Institutional Clients Group (ICG) is another crucial division within Citigroup responsible for generating substantial revenue. This segment serves corporations, governments, and institutions by offering a comprehensive suite of financial products and services. These include investment banking, corporate lending, treasury and trade solutions, securities services, and capital markets activities. Citigroup assists clients in accessing global capital markets, facilitating mergers and acquisitions, managing risk, and providing customized financing solutions. The fees, commissions, and interest earned from these activities contribute significantly to Citigroup's overall revenue.

    Treasury and Trade Solutions

    Citigroup's Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) segment provides innovative cash management, trade finance, and treasury solutions to multinational corporations, financial institutions, and public sector organizations. TTS helps clients optimize their working capital, streamline their cash management processes, and manage their trade flows efficiently. By leveraging its global network and advanced technology platforms, Citigroup enables clients to enhance liquidity, reduce costs, and mitigate risks. The fees and transaction-based revenues generated by TTS contribute to the overall profitability of Citigroup.


    The Corporate/Other segment of Citigroup encompasses various activities that do not fall under the other divisions. This includes strategic investments, legacy assets, and certain corporate functions. While the revenue contribution from this segment may be relatively smaller compared to the other divisions, it still plays a role in Citigroup's overall financial performance.


    In conclusion, Citigroup generates its revenue through diverse sources, primarily driven by its Global Consumer Banking, Institutional Clients Group, and Treasury and Trade Solutions divisions. By catering to the needs of individual customers, corporations, and governments, Citigroup leverages its global reach, extensive product offerings, and technological capabilities to create value for its clients and shareholders.

    Citigroup Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is the Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps businesses visualize, design, and analyze their business model. It provides a comprehensive framework that enables organizations to understand and communicate the various elements that contribute to their overall business model.

    The Key Components of the Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas consists of nine key components, which are divided into four main categories: customer segments, value proposition, channels, and customer relationships. These categories form the core of the business model and provide a holistic view of how the organization creates, delivers, and captures value.

    1. Customer Segments: This component focuses on identifying the different groups of customers or market segments that the organization targets. It helps Citigroup determine which customer segments are most valuable and tailor their products and services to meet their specific needs.

    2. Value Proposition: The value proposition describes the unique value that Citigroup offers to its customers. It encompasses the products, services, and solutions that differentiate Citigroup from its competitors and meet the needs of its customer segments.

    3. Channels: Channels refer to the various ways through which Citigroup delivers its value proposition to its customers. This component includes both physical and digital channels such as branches, online banking platforms, mobile applications, and ATMs.

    4. Customer Relationships: This component focuses on the type of relationship Citigroup establishes and maintains with its customers. It includes aspects such as personal assistance, self-service, automated services, and dedicated relationship managers to ensure a positive and lasting customer experience.

    How Citigroup Utilizes the Business Model Canvas

    Citigroup, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, utilizes the Business Model Canvas to analyze and refine its business model. By understanding the key components and their interrelationships, Citigroup can identify areas for improvement, innovation, and growth.

    For instance, Citigroup uses the Business Model Canvas to identify new customer segments and tailor its value proposition accordingly. It helps them identify emerging trends and customer needs, allowing them to develop new products and services that address these demands.

    Furthermore, Citigroup utilizes the channels component of the Business Model Canvas to optimize its distribution channels. By analyzing the effectiveness of different channels, they can allocate resources strategically and ensure that their customers have convenient and seamless access to their products and services.

    The customer relationships component is also crucial for Citigroup. By understanding the preferences and expectations of their customers, they can provide personalized experiences and build strong relationships that foster loyalty and trust.

    Overall, the Business Model Canvas serves as a valuable tool for Citigroup to assess, refine, and innovate its business model in an ever-evolving financial landscape. It enables them to stay competitive, adapt to changing customer needs, and deliver value to their stakeholders.

    Which companies are the competitors of Citigroup?


    Citigroup is one of the largest multinational investment banking and financial services corporations in the world. With a presence in over 160 countries, Citigroup offers a wide range of financial products and services to individuals, corporations, governments, and institutions. As a major player in the global finance industry, Citigroup faces competition from several other financial institutions.

    Competitors of Citigroup

    1. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    JPMorgan Chase & Co., often referred to as JPMorgan, is a leading global financial services firm that operates in more than 100 countries. With a strong presence in investment banking, asset management, and consumer banking, JPMorgan is a direct competitor of Citigroup. Both companies compete for market share in various financial segments, including commercial banking, wealth management, and investment advisory services.

    1. Bank of America Corporation

    Bank of America Corporation, commonly known as Bank of America, is another major competitor of Citigroup. With operations in more than 35 countries, Bank of America offers a wide range of financial services, including consumer banking, corporate banking, and investment banking. The two companies often compete head-to-head in areas such as retail banking, credit card services, and mortgage lending.

    1. Wells Fargo & Company

    Wells Fargo & Company, one of the largest banks in the United States, is also a significant competitor of Citigroup. With a focus on retail and commercial banking, Wells Fargo offers a range of financial products and services to individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. Citigroup and Wells Fargo compete in areas such as consumer banking, commercial lending, and wealth management.

    1. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is a global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm. While Goldman Sachs primarily focuses on serving institutional clients, it also competes with Citigroup in areas such as investment banking, asset management, and securities trading. Both companies are well-known for their expertise in financial markets and often vie for lucrative deals and clients.

    1. Morgan Stanley

    Morgan Stanley is another major competitor of Citigroup in the investment banking and wealth management sectors. With a global presence and a focus on providing financial advisory services, Morgan Stanley competes with Citigroup in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and wealth management solutions. Both companies strive to attract high-net-worth individuals, corporations, and institutional clients.


    Citigroup faces stiff competition from several prominent financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corporation, Wells Fargo & Company, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Morgan Stanley. These competitors operate in various financial segments, such as investment banking, consumer banking, wealth management, and asset management. As the finance industry continues to evolve, the competition among these companies remains intense, driving innovation and enhancing the overall quality of financial services offered to customers.

    Citigroup SWOT Analysis


    • Global presence: Citigroup operates in over 100 countries and has a strong presence in major financial centers around the world. This allows the bank to serve a diverse range of clients and tap into various markets.

    • Diversified business model: Citigroup has a well-diversified business model with operations in consumer banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and wealth management. This diversification helps the bank to mitigate risks and generate revenues from different sources.

    • Strong brand reputation: Citigroup has a long-standing history and is recognized as one of the leading financial institutions globally. The bank's brand reputation helps in attracting customers, business partners, and investors.

    • Technological innovation: Citigroup has been investing heavily in technology to enhance its digital capabilities. This includes developing mobile banking apps, improving online banking services, and leveraging data analytics. These technological advancements give Citigroup a competitive edge in the digital banking landscape.


    • Regulatory challenges: Being a global bank, Citigroup operates under stringent regulatory frameworks across different jurisdictions. Compliance with these regulations can be costly and time-consuming, posing a challenge for the bank's operations.

    • High exposure to market risks: Citigroup's diverse business operations also expose the bank to various market risks, such as interest rate fluctuations, currency volatility, and economic downturns. These risks can impact the bank's financial performance and stability.

    • Legal and reputational risks: Citigroup has faced legal and reputational challenges in the past, including lawsuits related to mortgage-backed securities and allegations of misconduct. These risks can damage the bank's reputation and result in financial penalties.


    • Emerging markets: Citigroup has the opportunity to expand its presence in emerging markets, where there is a growing middle class and increasing demand for banking services. By entering these markets, Citigroup can tap into new customer segments and drive revenue growth.

    • Fintech partnerships: Collaborating with fintech companies can help Citigroup enhance its technological capabilities and offer innovative financial products and services. Fintech partnerships can also help the bank streamline its operations and improve customer experience.

    • Sustainable finance: There is a rising demand for sustainable finance solutions, such as green bonds and impact investments. Citigroup can seize this opportunity by developing sustainable financing products and catering to clients' environmental and social needs.


    • Intense competition: The banking industry is highly competitive, with numerous global and regional players vying for market share. Citigroup faces competition from traditional banks, as well as non-bank financial institutions and fintech startups. This competition can put pressure on the bank's profitability and market position.

    • Economic uncertainties: Citigroup operates in a globalized economy that is prone to economic uncertainties, such as trade tensions, geopolitical risks, and recessions. These uncertainties can impact the bank's business operations and financial performance.

    • Cybersecurity threats: As a major financial institution, Citigroup is a target for cyberattacks. The bank needs to constantly invest in cybersecurity measures to protect customer data, prevent financial fraud, and maintain trust in its digital platforms.

    Overall, Citigroup has several strengths, including its global presence and diversified business model. However, the bank also faces weaknesses, such as regulatory challenges and legal risks. By capitalizing on opportunities like emerging markets and sustainable finance, and addressing threats such as intense competition and cybersecurity threats, Citigroup can continue to thrive in the dynamic banking industry.

    Key Takeaways

    • Citigroup is owned by institutional and individual shareholders, with the largest shareholders being mutual funds, pension funds, and other financial institutions.
    • The mission statement of Citigroup is to serve as a trusted partner to its clients by providing financial solutions that enable economic growth and progress.
    • Citigroup makes money through various revenue streams, including consumer banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and treasury and trade solutions.
    • The Citigroup Business Model Canvas explains how the company creates value through key activities, resources, partnerships, and customer segments.
    • Some of the main competitors of Citigroup include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs.
    • A SWOT analysis of Citigroup reveals its strengths such as a global presence and strong brand, weaknesses like regulatory challenges, opportunities in emerging markets, and threats from intense competition and economic uncertainties.


    In conclusion, Citigroup is a global financial institution that operates in various countries and provides a wide range of financial services. While it is a publicly traded company, its ownership is diversified among institutional and individual investors.

    The mission statement of Citigroup is to serve as a trusted partner to clients by responsibly providing financial services that enable growth and economic progress. This mission guides their actions and decisions, focusing on delivering value to clients, shareholders, employees, and the communities they serve.

    Citigroup generates revenue through various sources such as consumer banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and wealth management. Their business model canvas encompasses key elements that contribute to their success, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure.

    Competitors of Citigroup include other global financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and HSBC. These companies operate in similar markets and offer similar financial services, making the competition fierce.

    Lastly, conducting a SWOT analysis reveals Citigroup's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Some of its strengths include a strong global presence, a diverse range of financial products and services, and a solid brand reputation. However, weaknesses such as regulatory challenges and operational inefficiencies exist. Opportunities and threats arise from factors like emerging markets, technological advancements, and increasing competition.

    Overall, Citigroup's ownership, mission statement, revenue generation, business model canvas, competitors, and SWOT analysis provide a comprehensive understanding of this global financial institution and its position in the industry.


    What are the strengths of Citigroup?

    Some of the strengths of Citigroup include:

    1. Global presence: Citigroup operates in over 160 countries, making it one of the largest global financial institutions. Its extensive global network provides it with access to diverse markets and customers, giving it a competitive advantage.

    2. Diversified business segments: Citigroup operates in multiple business segments, including consumer banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and wealth management. This diversification helps balance its revenue streams and reduces its exposure to any single market or industry.

    3. Strong brand recognition: Citigroup is a well-established and recognized brand in the financial industry. Its long history and global presence have helped build trust and credibility among its customers.

    4. Technological capabilities: Citigroup has been investing heavily in technology to enhance its customer experience and improve operational efficiency. Its digital platforms and mobile apps provide convenient banking services to its customers, giving it a technological edge over some competitors.

    5. Strong risk management practices: Citigroup has implemented robust risk management practices, especially after the global financial crisis in 2008. It has strengthened its risk controls, improved its capital position, and enhanced its liquidity management, making it more resilient to potential economic downturns.

    6. Strong capital position: Citigroup has a strong capital base, which is crucial for a financial institution. This allows it to withstand financial shocks, meet regulatory requirements, and continue its growth and expansion plans.

    7. Diverse customer base: Citigroup serves a wide range of customers, including individuals, small businesses, corporations, and governments. Its diverse customer base provides it with stability and opportunities for cross-selling different products and services.

    8. Strong investment banking capabilities: Citigroup has a strong investment banking division, offering a range of services such as mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, and advisory services. Its expertise in investment banking allows it to generate significant fee income and attract high-profile clients.

    9. Commitment to sustainability and social responsibility: Citigroup has made commitments to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. It aims to finance and facilitate $250 billion in environmental and climate-related activities by 2025, contributing to a more sustainable future.

    10. Experienced management team: Citigroup has an experienced and knowledgeable management team, with expertise in various areas of the financial industry. This team's leadership and strategic decision-making contribute to the overall strength of the organization.

    What is Citigroup's competitive advantage?

    Citigroup's competitive advantage lies in several key areas:

    1. Global Presence: Citigroup operates in more than 160 countries, making it one of the most geographically diversified financial institutions. This global presence allows the company to serve a wide range of clients and capture opportunities in different markets.

    2. Product Diversification: Citigroup offers a wide range of financial products and services, including consumer banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth management, and treasury and trade solutions. This diversification allows the company to cater to the needs of various customer segments and generate revenue from multiple sources.

    3. Technology and Innovation: Citigroup has invested heavily in technology and digital transformation initiatives. The company leverages technology to enhance customer experience, streamline operations, and develop innovative financial solutions. This focus on technology helps Citigroup stay competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

    4. Strong Risk Management: Citigroup has a robust risk management framework that helps it navigate through challenging economic and market conditions. The company's risk management practices and controls enable it to effectively manage credit, market, operational, and regulatory risks.

    5. Brand and Reputation: Citigroup has built a strong brand and reputation over the years. It is recognized as a global leader in the financial services industry, which enhances its credibility and attracts customers and investors. The company's brand value and customer trust provide a competitive edge in acquiring and retaining clients.

    Overall, Citigroup's competitive advantage stems from its global presence, product diversification, focus on technology and innovation, strong risk management practices, and established brand and reputation.

    Why did Citigroup fail?

    Citigroup did not fail in the sense of going bankrupt or ceasing operations, but it did face significant challenges during the 2008 financial crisis. The crisis was triggered by a combination of factors, including the subprime mortgage bubble, which led to a sharp decline in housing prices and a subsequent rise in mortgage defaults.

    Citigroup's failure to manage risk effectively and its exposure to subprime mortgages and related securities played a significant role in its struggles during the crisis. The bank had made substantial investments in mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which suffered significant losses as the housing market collapsed.

    Furthermore, Citigroup had engaged in aggressive lending practices and had accumulated a large amount of risky assets on its balance sheet. These assets were highly leveraged and lacked the necessary liquidity to withstand the market turmoil.

    Additionally, Citigroup's governance and risk management practices were criticized for being inadequate. The bank had complex and opaque financial products that were not well understood by its own management, let alone regulators or investors. This lack of transparency and understanding further exacerbated the financial difficulties faced by the bank.

    As a result, Citigroup faced massive losses and had to seek a government bailout to stabilize its operations. The U.S. government provided financial assistance in the form of capital injections, guarantees, and asset backstops to prevent the bank's collapse.

    Overall, Citigroup's failure to effectively manage risk, its exposure to subprime mortgages, and its reliance on complex and opaque financial products were key factors that contributed to its struggles during the financial crisis.

    What is the Citigroup controversy?

    The Citigroup controversy refers to a series of controversies and legal issues faced by Citigroup Inc., one of the largest global banking and financial services corporations.

    1. Financial Crisis: Citigroup was among the major banks involved in the 2008 global financial crisis. The bank faced significant losses and required a government bailout to stabilize its operations.

    2. Mortgage Securities: Citigroup faced legal actions and settlements related to the sale of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the financial crisis. The bank was accused of misleading investors about the quality of these securities, contributing to the collapse of the housing market.

    3. Foreclosure Practices: Citigroup, along with other major banks, faced allegations of improper foreclosure practices. It was accused of fraudulent documentation, robo-signing (mass signing of documents without verifying the information), and illegal eviction practices.

    4. Money Laundering: In 2012, Citigroup faced scrutiny for inadequate anti-money laundering controls, resulting in a $140 million settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

    5. Libor Manipulation: Citigroup, among several other major banks, was involved in the Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) manipulation scandal. The bank faced fines for attempting to manipulate the benchmark interest rates, which affected various financial transactions globally.

    6. Discrimination Lawsuits: Citigroup has faced several discrimination lawsuits, including allegations of racial discrimination in mortgage lending practices. The bank has settled some of these cases by paying significant fines and compensations.

    These controversies and legal issues have resulted in significant financial penalties, damage to the bank's reputation, and increased regulatory scrutiny on Citigroup's operations.

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