Vikram Pandit plans Citigroup return to profit

THE battered US banking giant, Citigroup, will look to earn as much as $20bn (£13bn) by the end of 2012 as the company looks to get back on its feet.

Vikram Pandit, Citigroup’s chief executive, believes the bank can turnaround its fortunes by focusing on its core businesses. He claims Citicorp, which makes up the group’s commercial, investment and retail banks, will lead the revival.

There is plenty at stake for Pandit, who took the helm in 2007, and who wants to lead the bank out of the downturn. He famously told Congress last year, after receiving bailout money from the government, that, “my salary should be $1 per year with no bonus until we return to profitability.” The government still holds a 27 per cent stake in the bank.

Signs are that the bank might be about to turn a corner and its shares rose to a three-month high yesterday ahead of today’s investor meeting, having gained 11 per cent in the last two days. Analysts said sentiment had shifted in recent days in favour of Citigroup, which once appeared in danger of collapse. They also gave credit to Pandit who told a congressional panel last week that the bank no longer needs government funds.