Citigroup records profit of $3bn

Citigroup, the banking giant that twice had to be bailed out by the US taxpayer, recorded a $3bn profit in the first three months of 2011, but only because it was able to release $3.3bn previously set aside to cover bad loans. The improving prospects for payback on consumer loans accounted for $2bn of that figure.

Across the sprawling business, however, costs increased and investment banking revenues, in particular bond trading income, fell.