Casa De Corbat Gusta Mucho México; Mortgages, Immigration Ban Less So

Citigroup is decidedly not going to be triggered by Trump.
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Coolcaesar at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Coolcaesar at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A wall won’t keep Citigroup out of Mexico. And neither will a burgeoning trade war or the peso rollercoaster, nor a Mexican unit that has never met a law it couldn’t break. No: Citi is doubling down on its pledge to invest $1 billion south of the border back before it or anyone else on Wall Street really took the prospect of “President Donald Trump” seriously, because it turns out President Donald Trump can only make Mexico a better place to be in the banking business.

“Mexico does have a lot of advantages, and those advantages as an economy would continue no matter what would happen between trade with the U.S.,” Citigroup finance chief John Gerspach said Thursday during a call with debt investors. “A weakening peso would again give them even more of a competitive edge.”

What’s more, Citi’s now got that billion lying around, because it feels the opposite about mortgage servicing as it does about Mexico. And so, with that pesky Consumer Financial Protection Bureau matter re: ripping off mortgage holders a whole week behind it, it’s going to stop doing it, effective as soon as humanely possible.

New Residential Investment Corp. agreed to pay Citigroup $950 million for servicing rights on Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed loans with $97 billion of outstanding balances, the New York-based buyer said Monday in a statement. Citigroup also reached a deal with Cenlar FSB to service its remaining mortgages, and plans to transfer the rights for those loans beginning in 2018, the bank said in a separate statement.

Oh yea, and Citi’s got another thing to get off its chest: It doesn’t like anything about this immigration mess any more than brothers Lloyd and Jamie, and it’s not afraid to say so in the most measured way possible.

Since the weekend, we have been reviewing the executive order on immigration, as well as statements by administration officials, to assess its impact. As a U.S. company and the world's most global financial institution, we are concerned about the message the executive order sends, as well as the impact immigration policies could have on our ability to serve our clients and contribute to growth. We have been advising colleagues who could be affected and will continue to support them and their families.

We are proud of Citi's diversity and the fact that we hail from over 100 countries. We encourage the leaders of the United States to find the right balance between protecting the country and its longstanding role as an open and welcoming society.

Citigroup, European Banks Stick With Mexico as Trade War Looms [WSJ]
Citi to Exit Mortgage Servicing, Sell $97 Billion Portfolio [Bloomberg]

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