For Citigroup (NYSE:C), which has perfected the art of the not great, not terrible quarterly profit, second-quarter results were more positive than past efforts.

Like its largest rivals, the nation's third-largest bank is still struggling with sluggish investment banking volumes, anemic consumer loan demand and uncertainty in Europe. But coming days after JPMorgan Chase (JPM) tried again to explain just exactly how it misplaced billions of dollars in London, Citigroup's profits — or at least its lack of massive trading losses — looked less controversial in comparison.

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