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Client flows help Citi after Swiss franc shock

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STRONG client flows meant Citigroup has recovered somewhat from its losses after the surprise de-pegging of the Swiss franc against the euro, said Patrick Dewilde, the global bank's Asia-Pacific head of markets and securities services.

STRONG client flows meant Citigroup has recovered somewhat from its losses after the surprise de-pegging of the Swiss franc against the euro, said Patrick Dewilde, the global bank's Asia-Pacific head of markets and securities services.

In an interview on the sidelines of an annual investor conference in Singapore, Mr Dewilde told The Business Times: "We did very, very well in the second half of the month, I can't give you the number."

The Swiss central bank decided in mid-January to stop holding the franc at a fixed exchange rate against the euro, causing the franc to spike dramatically. Citi reportedly lost US$150 million that day, exacerbated in part by it not having renewed hedges on options sold.

John Gerspach, Citi's chief financial officer, said in a fixed income investor conference call on Jan 23 that the bank experienced a "modest loss", though it experienced "good activity levels" from its customers in the foreign exchange markets.

Said Mr Dewilde: "Clients kept on coming to us when nobody wanted to help them. The next day, when life was easier, they gave us easier business," he said.

In the interview, Mr Dewilde spoke about how he is restructuring the bank's operations in its currencies and rates business, where it is dominant in Asia, and its equities business, which is facing some challenges.

He took on his current post in April 2014.