Citigroup yesterday took radical action to cushion the blows of the financial turmoil and revive its flagging share price, announcing plans to axe 52,000 jobs, or one in seven employees, and slash costs by about $10bn (£6.6bn).

The moves, unveiled by chief executive Vikram Pandit in a meeting with staff, are a dramatic escalation of Citi’s efforts to deal with a crisis that has forced it to record a loss in each of the past four quarters. The company’s poor performance and continued slide in its shares have raised the pressure on Mr Pandit amid simmering internal disagreements and a boardroom revolt over Citi’s failure to buy Wachovia, a US regional lender.

Citi’s shares have lost nearly three-quarters of their value in the past year. They fell 6.6% to $8.89 yesterday after it warned that next year would be 'difficult'.

Financial Times, The Times, The Independent