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Citigroup requires Saturdays off for junior bankers

Citigroup Inc. is requiring junior bankers to take

Citigroup Inc. is requiring junior bankers to take Saturdays off in an effort to improve working conditions. Credit: Getty Images

Citigroup Inc., the third-largest U.S. lender, will require junior bankers to take Saturdays off and use all of their vacation time each year as the firm joins an industry effort to improve working conditions.

Analysts and associates in investment banking and capital markets origination must be out of the office by 10 p.m. on Friday and not return until 10 a.m. Sunday, according to two memos sent to the staff Wednesday by the Manhattan-based bank. They were signed separately by Ray McGuire, head of investment banking, and Tyler Dickson, head of capital-markets origination. The contents were confirmed by Rob Julavits, a bank spokesman, who declined to elaborate.

Citigroup joins banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. in limiting work hours to retain staff and improve productivity as the number of deals fall from pre-crisis peaks and firms limit compensation packages.

Compliance "will be tracked and reported to senior management on a regular basis," according to the memo from Citigroup's McGuire. "Exceptions should be rare and defensible."

Chief executive Michael Corbat said last week in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that it's important for staff to maintain a proper work-life balance and to have interests outside of their career.

"Work can't consume every minute, every hour of your life," Corbat, 53, said in the Jan. 23 interview with Bloomberg Television. "You see it when you come to work with a healthy attitude, when you've got other interests, when you maybe get the ability to get some exercise. It clears your head."

Under the new policy, employees won't be expected to work remotely, though they should check email, according to both memos. The guidelines will become effective Feb. 7.

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