Citigroup reported $1.9 billion in net credit losses on its residential mortgage portfolio in the first quarter, up from $887 million a year ago, due to a "continued rise" in delinquencies, the company said.

The New York-based banking giant said the percentage of first mortgages 90 days or more past due jumped to 7.15%, up from 3% in first quarter of 2008.

The single-family loans that Citi owns with FICO scores below 620 have a 13.7% serious delinquency rate.

Meanwhile, Citigroup has a 3.25% serious delinquency rate on its home equity loans as of March 31, up from 1.45% a year ago. Citigroup said it originated $22.4 billion in residential mortgages in the first quarter, up from $16.6 billion in the previous quarter, but down 40% from the first quarter of 2008.

Overall, Citigroup's North American consumer and mortgage banking units reported a $178 million loss for the first quarter. The company does not break out losses due to its residential mortgage business.

Credit Cards/Auto

In a report released today, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analysts said that Citigroup's North America cards segment managed revenues rose by 6%. This growth is despite net income declining to a negative $209 million over the first quarter of 2009. Revenue was affected by higher interest and fee revenues from higher revolving balances as well as pricing actions, according to BofA/Merrill

Citi's management is expecting net credit losses will continue to be affected by the unemployment rate, which they think shows few signs of moderating. Both high unemployment and dropping home values appear to be driving losses to new highs, management stated. The firm's current focus has shifted from growth to risk management.

The managed net credit loss ratio rose 395 basis points in the Citi branded portfolio and 508 basis points in the retail partners' portfolio, BofA/Merrill analysts said. The firm said that it experienced a moderation in the rate of increase of loans 30 days past due versus last quarter but think the results are not really conclusive.

The consolidation of card-related securitization lessened Tier 1 capital by 100 basis points, which was mostly offset by added capital and asset sales, according to Merrill.

Management indicated that origination volumes were down in the education and auto lending segments. As well, delinquencies and charge-offs rose in the auto lending segment.

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