This excerpt taken from the C 10-Q filed Nov 6, 2009.
Reserve Estimates and Policies
Management provides reserves for an estimate of probable losses inherent in the funded loan portfolio on the balance sheet in the form of an allowance for loan losses. These reserves are established in accordance with Citigroup's Credit Reserve Policies, as approved by the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Company's Board of Directors. The Company's Chief Risk Officer and Chief Financial Officer review the adequacy of the credit loss reserves each quarter with representatives from the Risk Management and Finance staffs for each applicable business area.
During these reviews, the above-mentioned representatives covering the business area having classifiably managed portfolios (that is, portfolios where internal credit-risk ratings are assigned, which are primarily ICG, Regional Consumer Banking and Local Consumer Lending) and modified consumer loans where a concession was granted due to the borrowers' financial difficulties, and present recommended reserve balances for their funded and unfunded lending portfolios along with supporting quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data include:
In addition, representatives from both the Risk Management and Finance staffs that cover business areas that have delinquency-managed portfolios containing smaller homogeneous loans (primarily the non-commercial lending areas of Consumer Banking) present their recommended reserve balances based upon leading credit indicators, including loan delinquencies and changes in portfolio size as well as economic trends including housing prices, unemployment and GDP. This methodology is applied separately for each individual product within each different geographic region in which these portfolios exist.
This evaluation process is subject to numerous estimates and judgments. The frequency of default, risk ratings, loss recovery rates, the size and diversity of individual large credits, and the ability of borrowers with foreign currency obligations to obtain the foreign currency necessary for orderly debt servicing, among other things, are all taken into account during this review. Changes in these estimates could have a direct impact on the credit costs in any quarter and could result in a change in the allowance. Changes to the reserve flow through the Consolidated Statement of Income on the lines Provision for loan losses and Provision for unfunded lending commitments.