Tomahawk, WI 12/10/2013 (BasicsMedia) – Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is among the four largest U.S. lenders. The company serves corporate, business and individual clients. It’s recovery from the financial crisis is fairly good but trails its bigger siblings.

The company is facing the same impact as its peers in the mortgage financing segment where higher interest rates have kept off customers. Big lenders like C have been trying to entice mortgage customers with lower down-payment requirements, but even this tweak is not winning the game for the lenders.

Perhaps this explains why the bank is now trying something different. The bank is increasing its presence in the commodity business. The interesting thing is that Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is doing this at a time when its peers are recoiling from the market. For example,  JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is reducing its investment in commodity.

Investing in commodity assets such as oilfields, tankers and mines is an old practice for banks. But over time, this business has been a low-reward segment for banks looking for higher margins. The global commodity prices are some times hard to predict leading to losses or even low profit margins for transactions.

However, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) has apparently decided to play oversight to these challenges and its hoping to succeed where its peers are recoiling.

In efforts to boost its fortunes in the commodity trade, the bank is hiring more staff which will increase its workforce in this segment by 15 percent. Most of the new staff, about 80 people, is expected to be salespeople. This is why the Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) wants to ensure that it captures the juice of the commodity market.

Even as Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is going big in commodity trade, it is implementing its cost reduction efforts and seeking new ways to grow revenue. This is the theme that cuts across the banking industry in post financial recession period.

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