Citigroup fully hopes to pay back the $45 billion it borrowed from the U.S. Treasury's banking bailout program, but there is no timetable, the No. 3 U.S. bank's chairman said on Monday.
Richard Parsons, speaking at a forum sponsored by Time Warner, said the fact that Citi has been unable to repay its loans puts it at a disadvantage in terms of attracting and retaining key talent.
Last week, 10 major banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase & Co, said they would be allowed to begin repaying loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP.
I do worry we could be competitively disadvantaged if we aren't able to find a way to quickly repay TARP, said Parsons, who added that he opposes caps on compensation.
Citigroup shares fell 3.2 percent to $3.36 early Monday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange, underperforming the KBW Banks index, which was 2.6 percent lower.
Parson said Citi recently filed with the government a capital plan that outlines the bank's strategy going forward for repaying TARP.
He declined to give the specifics of the strategy, but said so much of it will depend on the cooperation of the markets.
Parsons said Citi's struggles have been a product of the larger troubles facing the industry and that its future would largely depend on the economy.
He said Citi is now positioned to withstand another dip in the economy, but is hopeful its ability to do so won't be tested.
We can, but I hope we don't have to, Parsons said.
(Reporting by Pedro da Costa and Steve Eder; Editing by James Dalgleish)