Citi’s Gerspach: $12.7 billion accounting switch was legit

Switch of assets to trading book and subsequent sales meant to limit Basel III capital impact, says Citi's CFO


The five-year transition to Basel III capital levels doesn't start until 2013, but banks are already trying to get into shape. State Street sold roughly $11 billion of risky securities in December last year, and Citigroup has now embarked on a similar exercise, shifting $12.7 billion in assets to its trading book at the end of March.

Selling all of those assets would cut Citi's Basel III total risk-weighted assets (RWAs) by over $100 billion, one analyst estimates - and the bank's chief

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