After Pandit, a smaller Citi could get smaller yet
‘‘If you look at domestic commercial banking, you have lower interest rates, you have higher losses, you have regulation and a high degree of competition,’’ he said. ‘‘If you go overseas, you don’t have any of those. You have tremendous growth.’’
Citi manages 200 million accounts with customers in 160 countries.
Corbat also spoke to analysts on the conference call but, as was the case with O'Neill, gave little indication how Citi might change. Corbat has worked at Citi and its predecessors since he graduated from Harvard in 1983.
Pandit’s resignation came a day after the bank announced what many analysts had hailed as terrific earnings for the third quarter.
‘‘It feels very abrupt to us,’’ one analyst, Mike Mayo of CLSA, said on the conference call. ‘‘We’re all scratching our heads, and thinking, ‘What just happened?'’’
O'Neill replied, ‘‘What happened is Vikram submitted his resignation.’’
Pandit is credited with not only slimming the bank, but removing it from government ownership after the bailout and righting its balance sheet after billions in losses on bad mortgage investments made before he took the helm. But he came under criticism for not cutting expenses enough last year.
‘‘You’re in a recovery mode, and the last thing you should do is make investments that retard that,’’ said Second Curve’s Brown of the bank’s 2011 investments overseas and in branches. ‘‘Last year was terrible.’’
Said Cassidy: ‘‘I don’t know if (Pandit) was pushed out or quit, but I don’t think he was following the game plan of O'Neill.’’