Citigroup Inc. reported a 21% increase in earnings in the first quarter after a tough 2014. The profits jumped higher than expected, with a 2% increase in investor shares. The New York bank, which passed the Federal Reserve stress test March, was given the freedom to increase its dividend.
Citigroup was allowed to raise its dividend for the very first time since the financial crisis. The bank’s move to cut costs played a big role in overcoming weaknesses in consumer banking outside the United States.