Citigroup Inc became the latest bank to take a cautious view of consumers' credit problems, reporting a $7.77 fourth-quarter loss due to failed loans and the costs of repaying government bailout money.
The bank said on Tuesday it did see some early signs of improvement in its credit business although it still needed to set aside $8.18 billion to cover unpaid loans. That amount was down 10 percent from the third quarter, and 36 per cent from a year earlier.
John Gerspach, Citigroup's chief financial officer, reported one of those improving signs during a conference call with the media, noting that the number of mortgage and credit card loans that were newly delinquent, or between one and three months past due, had started to stabilize and even drop in some of its lending portfolios.
However, "the US credit story is still very much developing," Gerspach said.