Citigroup Goal Is to Stop Shareholder Capital Destruction

Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat, who took over at the third-largest U.S. bank in October, said one of his goals is to “stop destroying our shareholders’ capital.”

Corbat, 52, was asked on a conference call with analysts what he hopes to have achieved when he looks back on his accomplishments five years from now.

“We’ve got to get to a point where we stop destroying our shareholders’ capital,” said Corbat, who replaced Vikram Pandit after the former CEO was ousted last year. “I’d say that would certainly be at the top of our list. That we run a smart and efficient business that’s good at its allocation of its resources around its customer and client segments.”

Citigroup’s shares have declined 92 percent in the past six years. The bank survived the financial crisis with help from $45 billion of rescue funds from the U.S. government, which it later repaid.

Citigroup trades at 67 percent of its book value and 81 percent of tangible book, it’s theoretical liquidation value. The firm earned a 4 percent return on equity, a measure of how well it invests shareholder money. That’s below the bank’s estimated cost of equity of about 10 percent.

Corbat also said he hopes that Citigroup “served a social purpose.”

He said the bank’s “primary focus” is on boosting the stock price.

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