US-based banking major Citigroup has reported net income of $4.71bn for the first quarter of 2019.

This marks a 2% rise compared to $4.62bn a year ago.

The bank attributed the rise in income to reduced expenses and lower effective tax rate.

Total revenues for the quarter ended 31 March 2019 were $18.57bn, down 2% from $18.87bn in the corresponding quarter of 2018.

Expenses dipped 3% year-on-year to $10.58bn.

This was said to be due to efficiency savings and the wind-down of legacy assets.

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The bank’s CET1 capital ratio at the end of March 2019 stood at 11.9%.

Private bank revenues were $880m in the first quarter of 2019, a fall of 3% from $904m last year.

Commenting on the performance, Citi CEO Michael Corbat said: “Both our consumer and institutional businesses performed well and we saw good momentum in those areas where we have been investing, such as U.S. Branded Cards, Treasury and Trade Solutions, and Investment Banking.”

Corbat added: “We increased our Return on Tangible Common Equity to 11.9%, had positive operating leverage for the tenth consecutive quarter and had strong growth in both loans and deposits in our core businesses.

“We returned over $5 billion to our shareholders during the quarter, contributing to the 11% increase in our earnings per share from a year ago.”

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