This excerpt taken from the C 10-K filed Feb 28, 2005.
Outlook for 2005
We enter 2005 with momentum and optimism. Our primary goals for 2005 include taking steps to become the most respected global financial institution; growing our Global Consumer franchise; growing our International businesses; and ensuring our Global Corporate and Investment Bank is best in class.
Throughout 2005, we will implement many enhancements to our training, development and compensation processes designed to achieve our goal of becoming the most respected global financial institution. In 2004, we increased the independence of risk management functions, including internal control and compliance. We expect to continue to enhance our risk management, control and compliance functions in 2005.
During the coming year, we expect to expand our global branch network, further develop our brand through advertising and marketing and invest in technology to increase our competitiveness. We also expect to continue to make strategically targeted acquisitions that will extend our geographic reach and enhance our product capabilities. We will renew our focus on expense discipline and building cost advantages, and we expect to continue to apply disciplined capital management to allocate capital to our highest growth and highest return opportunities.
We anticipate that the credit environment globally will remain favorable; however, we do not expect the level of credit reserve releases in 2004 to repeat in 2005.
We also do not expect the level of tax-reserve releases and tax benefits that occurred in 2004 to repeat in 2005. Accordingly, we anticipate a higher effective tax rate in 2005, which we estimate to be more in line with the 2003 effective tax rate.
As we experienced during the second half of 2004, we expect that increasing interest rates will continue to have a negative impact on our Treasury results.
In January 2005, we announced the sale of Traveler's Life & Annuity, including substantially all of our international insurance businesses, to MetLife for approximately $11.5 billion subject to closing adjustments. The businesses included in the sale transaction had earnings of $901 million in 2004. The transaction is expected to result in an after-tax gain of approximately $2.0 billion, subject to closing adjustments, and to make available approximately $6.0 billion of Tier I Capital. We expect the transaction to close in the summer of 2005. Proceeds from the sale will be redeployed in higher growth and higher return opportunities to maximize value for our shareholders.
We plan to finalize our exit of the Japan Private Bank by the end of the 2005 third quarter, which will result in costs in connection with implementing the exit plan, and additional charges may be incurred. In addition, we will continue to work and cooperate with our regulators in Europe to seek a conclusion to investigations relating to the European Bond transaction.
Limited staff reductions will be made in the Global Corporate and Investment Bank in early 2005. The reductions will affect an estimated 1,400 staff and will result in an approximately $275 million pre-tax charge during the 2005 first quarter.
Citigroup's financial results are closely tied to the external economic environment. Movements in interest rates and foreign exchange rates present both opportunities and risks for the Company. Weakness in global economies, credit deterioration, inflation, and geopolitical uncertainty are examples of risks that could adversely impact earnings.
A detailed review and outlook for each of our businesses is included in the discussions that follow.
Certain of the statements above are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. See "Forward-Looking Statements" on page 73.