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Citi Planning: On Citi’s earnings call yesterday, CEO Vikram Pandit told investors the bank may or may not go back to the Fed to ask permission to return capital to shareholders this year. The company could resubmit by mid-June the same capital plan that the Fed rejected last month after the latest stress tests. But by the time Citi hears back from the regulator in the fall, it’ll need to be working on a 2013 plan anyway. So it could just wait for the 2013 stress tests, which means shareholders might have to wait until next year for their payout to climb above the nominal penny-a-share dividend they’ve been receiving since the crisis. Fortunately for Citi, first-quarter results were strong enough to give Pandit “space to avoid giving away too much detail on how Citi will respond to the Fed,” according to “Heard on the Street” in the Journal. And “given that overly confident comments left Mr. Pandit with egg on his face last time, staying mum is the wiser course of action,” the column says. Excluding the whipsawing debt valuation adjustment, Citi’s profits beat analyst estimates, and lending picked up, though earnings were down and revenues barely budged. Shares climbed on the “decidedly mixed” report, underscoring “how little investors have come to expect from the banking sector,” according to another Journal story.
Wall Street Journal
An article takes a detailed look at issuers’ growing use of “card-linked offers,” which mine transaction data to target discounts for consumers according to where they’ve used debit or credit cards. These arrangements provide a new revenue stream for banks but raise privacy concerns, the story says.
A former Merrill Lynch executive makes the case for the Volcker Rule’s ban on proprietary trading in an op-ed.
Goldman Sachs and MetLife “will publicly disclose the race and gender of their U.S. workforce across major job categories … under an agreement with New York City Comptroller John C. Liu and the New York City Pension Funds.” The city agencies are trying to expand management job opportunities for women and minorities.
“A federal judge is weighing whether officials of bankrupt Jefferson County, Ala., can divert money that would have gone to pay J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and other debtholders in order to upgrade its leaky sewer system.”
And, Lastly …
Denver Post: A credit union CEO’s $11 million pay package, unusually large for such an institution, is raising hackles among some of his customers and peers. The article paraphrases an executive recruiter as saying that “bigger credit unions are going toe-to-toe with banks and have to pay accordingly.”