Citigroup hits the hippy trail - and Poland

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Citigroup has ambitious plans to increase staff numbers in India and Poland.

But the bank's employees aren't going to spend their time chilling in Goa or paddling in the Vistula - they're more likely to conduct credit analysis and perform legal and compliance work.

It's all part of Citigroup's grand plan to shift 9,500 jobs to cheaper locations. The Lawyer reports that legal functions will migrate to Poland, while the New York Times suggests credit analysis will decamp to India.

It doesn't look good for the bank's credit analysts and legal staff in London. But Siobhan Lewington, director of legal search firm Fox Rodney, says the Polish plan could be a handy way of solving the current shortage of lawyers and compliance staff where pay has been going through the roof. "There's a big emphasis on cost-cutting in compliance and legal," she says.

Ainslie Hoad, director of the banking and finance team at rival legal recruiter Laurence Simons International, says the lack of financial services lawyers in London means she's scouring Australia, South Africa and India for talent.

Interestingly, Poland isn't on her list, partly because most EU lawyers are apparently not considered up to scratch. This doesn't bode well for Citigroup, which probably holds the record for falling the most foul of international regulators in the past few years. False economies and all that...

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