Citigroup (C) is the last of the big US banks to leave the US government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. In an announcement made today the New-York-based banking giant said it will repay $20 billion of US bailout funding, marking the bank’s exit from the TARP as a support mechanism, and bringing an end to months of wrestling with federal regulators and the Treasury Dep’t.
In an internal memo obtained by DealBook, Citi’s chief executive, Vikram Pandit, told employees that the bank still faces a tough road ahead as it seeks to recuperate from the consequences of last fall’s financial crisis. Mr. Pandit also said that Citi owes taxpayers and the gov’t “a debt of gratitude for their extraordinary assistance.”
Today, we announced a series of transactions to repay the $20 billion of TARP outstanding and terminate the asset guarantee we received from the U.S. government. The Treasury also announced its intention to sell its ownership in Citi stock in the coming months. These actions bring us closer to ending a very difficult period for our company, and we owe the U.S. taxpayers and the government a debt of gratitude for their extraordinary assistance.
That we are here is a testament to your hard work and accomplishments in getting our house in order. Today we are strongly capitalized, efficient, focused on our clients with a clear strategy for the future. With your commitment and dedication, we have created a strong foundation for the future.
Our goals near-term are clear: to achieve sustained profitability and to promote economic recovery by lending, keeping people in their homes, and helping clients with their needs. There are still economic challenges ahead that require your continued focus on clients and disciplined execution.
Over the past few months, I have visited many of you in the U.S. and around the world. I am continually impressed by the depth and breadth of talent we have at Citi. I am also very touched by your efforts to help customers and families in need and the communities of which we are a part. Thank you for all you do every day for our clients, customers, communities and Citi. I am very proud of your accomplishments.”