Pandit: Happy to Talk With Wall Street Protesters
Vikram Pandit, chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc. (C), said he would be happy to talk with Occupy Wall Street protesters, calling their sentiments “completely understandable.”
“Trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the U.S., and that is Wall Street’s job, to reach out to Main Street and rebuild that trust,” Pandit said today at a breakfast organized by Fortune magazine in New York.
Several hundred people tied to the movement marched on the New York City homes of Wall Street figures including billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon yesterday. Pandit, who bought a 10-room apartment on the Upper West Side for $17.9 million in 2007, said he would tell the protesters how Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. bank, is trying to increase lending to small businesses.
“I’d talk about the fact that they should hold Citi and the financial institutions accountable for practicing responsible finance,” Pandit, 54, said. “I’d be happy to talk to them any time they want to come up.”
Pandit also confirmed that Citigroup would make a profit in the third quarter, the bank’s seventh profitable quarter in a row since losing a total of $29.3 billion during 2008 and 2009. The bank may post earnings of $2.49 billion, according to a survey of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
“The economic recovery is not what we all want it to be,” Pandit said. “There are a number of people who can’t achieve what they’re capable of achieving and that’s not a good place to be.”
-- Editor: Steve Dickson
To contact the reporters on this story: Donal Griffin in New York at Dgriffin10@bloomberg.net
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