Citigroup Inc , the bank bailed out with $45 billion by the U.S. government, plans to cut down its U.S. branch network to six big metropolitan areas, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday on its website, citing people familiar with the situation.

Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank behind Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co , also plans to limit its consumer lending business in the United States primarily to credit cards and jumbo mortgages, catering largely to affluent customers, the Journal said.

The bank would focus in New York, Washington, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but would pare its business in Boston, Philadelphia and Texas, the Journal said.

It that added bank executives were expected to present the details of the plan to Citigroup's board in October.

Citigroup, once the largest U.S. bank by assets, fell behind last year after a series of acquisitions by rivals.

The bank, hurt by billions of losses and writedowns of bad loans and toxic assets, had to be rescued twice in the last year by the U.S. government, which now owns around 34 percent of Citigroup.

Citigroup could not be reached immediately for comment.

(Reporting by Juan Lagorio and Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Gary Hill)