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Updated: February 1, 2010 17:21 IST

Obama's bank regulation is right: Vikram Pandit

IANS
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BANKING ON OBAMA: A file photo of CEO of Citigroup Inc., Vikram Pandit. Mr. Pandit said Obama's plans to limit the size of banks is step in the right direction; a view quite distince from the rest of the banking community in the US. File photo
PTI BANKING ON OBAMA: A file photo of CEO of Citigroup Inc., Vikram Pandit. Mr. Pandit said Obama's plans to limit the size of banks is step in the right direction; a view quite distince from the rest of the banking community in the US. File photo

Vikram Pandit, the Indian American CEO of Citigroup, says President Barack Obama’s plans to regulate and limit the size of banks is the “right direction”.

As the ailing banking giant has already been weeding out companies that didn’t fit into the company, “We are quite aligned with the principals he set out,” he told CNBC from Davos, where we was attending the World Economic Forum.

“We think it’s generally the right direct. It shouldn’t be a surprise given what we’ve been doing at Citi for the past few years,” he was quoted as saying by the news channel.

“We’re 20 percent smaller in size as a bank,” Mr. Pandit said. “We’ve asked ourselves are we in client business or not - which we are - do these businesses belong with us or not, and if they don’t we’ve sold them.”

Echoing the concerns of other bank CEOs, like Deutsche Bank’s Josef Ackermann, that if rules are set in place in the US they should be global, too, he said “It is an international industry. Level playing fields are really important around the world.”

“Ultimately the G20 has to come together and call us around some set of rules. And if this is the direction they want to go in, I think that direction is generally fine with us,” said Mr. Pandit.

Mr. Pandit also said that he expects the government would sell their 27 percent stake in Citi at some point over the next year. “They’re inclined to sell the stock over time, and we’re going to do everything we can to help them,” he was quoted as saying.

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