Profits at US bank Citigroup were almost wiped out in the last four months of the year after it took $3.5bn of charges partly related to fines and disciplinary sanctions from regulators.
Profits fell to $350m in the last three months of 2014 after the legal costs but were also lower as its traditional powerhouse of bond trading fell back.
Full year profits were $7.3bn compared with $13.7bn a year earlier.
Michael Corbat, the chief executive, said the performance fell short of his expectations as he retrenches from some international markets.
The figures were published in the midst of the reporting season for US banks, with Goldman Sachs due to publish its performance on Friday when it will disclose the size of the payouts made to staff around the world.
Bank of America, which rescued Merrill Lynch during the 2008 banking crisis, also reported lower profits. However, chief executive Brian Moynihan said litigation costs – which reached $6.4bn in the last six months of the year – were tailing off.
“In 2014, we continued to invest in our businesses while reducing expenses and resolving our most significant litigation matters,” said Moynihan.
Headcount fell by more than 18,000 over the year to 223,700 with employees paid an average of $151,037 in 2014, compared with $143,466 a year earlier.
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