A one-time Citigroup Inc. broker has sued its securities unit over a so-called signing-bonus loan.

Thomas A. Banus, a former broker with Citigroup Global Markets Inc., alleges that Citigroup offered him a signing bonus of $45,675.36 structured as a forgivable loan over seven years when he joined the bank in October 2004.

One of Citigroup's considerations when they hired him was that his established "book of business" would follow him to Citigroup, according to the complaint. Banus quit the firm in 2006, and Citigroup wants him to repay the unforgiven portion of the note with interest: $39,150.31, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday. Banus estimates similar notes were given to more than 500 brokers who joined the company in the past six years, according to the complaint.

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