NEW YORK — Citigroup Inc. chief executive Vikram Pandit said it was understandable that Americans were angry at the financial world but that Citi was undergoing a "process of soul searching," was committed to clients, and was supporting financial reform to help stop the market from falling into the same traps.

In a speech at Columbia University on Wednesday night, Pandit said the unemployment rate, high foreclosures and the economic slump were all fueling anger directed at his industry and he understood why. And he continued, as he has recently, to call for a new global order for regulation and increased transparency.

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