Citigroup Looks to Buy Bank After Wachovia Misstep

Seeking to ease embarrassment from its failed bid, it looks to buy a regional player
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 10, 2008 7:54 AM CST
A Citibank is shown in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, Oct. 3.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – After losing Wachovia to Wells Fargo, Citigroup is again looking to buy a bank to bolster its deposit base in the face of continuing economic turmoil, reports the Wall Street Journal. The latest target is a regional bank considerably smaller than Wachovia. Citi recently drew $25 billion from the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout fund.

Acquiring more US deposits has become a focus for CEO Vikram Pandit, as Citigroup has hemorrhaged $20.25 billion over the past four quarters and is facing increasing losses from its huge international business. Citi has operations in 106 countries and has seen accelerating consumer defaults in some; others are just beginning to be affected by the global financial crisis. "It's going to get a lot worse everywhere," says one analyst.