Washington, Feb 12: Citigroup's Indian American CEO, Vikram Pandit has pledged to take a salary of $1 and no bonus until the ailing company returns to profitability. His decision came in the wake of criticisms about use of billions of dollars in government aid.
"I get the new reality and I will make sure Citi gets it as well," Pandit said on Wednesday, Feb 11 as America's largest financial institutions were grilled by the lawmakers about their lack of willingness to lend despite collectively receiving $165 billion in capital.
"We will hold ourselves accountable for what we do, and that starts with me," said Pandit, who collected a salary of $1 million last year. Citigroup is said to have lost more than $20 billion in the last five quarters.
Meeting the US House Financial Services Committee, Pandit said taxpayers were right to expect a return for their investment, adding that the bank will pay $3.4 billion in annual dividends on the debt.
"There is a great deal of anger in the country, much of it justified, about past practices," said Committee chairman Barney Frank in his opening remarks.
The banks have been criticised by the lawmakers for bonus payments and corporate expenses such as new executive jets when many across the country are struggling after losing jobs. President Obama had last month termed the bonuses as 'shameful'. and 'height of irresponsibility'.
Citigroup, which has accepted $45 billion in government bailout money, last month reversed a decision to buy a $50 million corporate jet under pressure from the government. Last week the bank cancelled a convention in Atlanta for its Primerica Financial Services Inc unit.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)