Citigroup Inc plans to pay back TARP by raising money in an equity offering that could be announced as early as this Thursday, cable television network CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

Earlier, the bank's chairman, Dick Parsons, told CNBC that Citigroup was in talks with regulators about repaying its $45 billion bailout from the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program.

We believe Citigroup is in a position to repay the TARP money, but there is an active discussion we have to have with regulators ... said Parsons, who was at New York Governor David Paterson's speech on the economy on Wednesday at the Museum of American Finance.

Citi spokesman Jon Diat declined to comment.

The reports come two days after Reuters reported on Monday that Citigroup and the U.S. government disagreed over how much the bank should raise to repay taxpayers, according to people briefed on the matter. The people said talks could take weeks or months.

Bank of America Corp sold $19.3 billion of shares last week and today announced it had completed repaying its $45 billion of government money borrowed through TARP. In June, major banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc , JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley paid back their bailouts.

Exiting TARP would allow Citigroup to get out from under the thumb of the U.S. government's pay czar, who has the authority to rule on how the bank pays its employees.

Citi shares closed down 5 cents at $3.86 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Steve Eder and Dan Wilchins; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz, Gerald E. McCormick and Steve Orlofsky)