Now that Citi is unloading it’s much-hyped Phibro energy trading group maybe the media can start focusing on the part government-owned bank’s other proprietary trading desk–its Principal Strategies Group.
Citi is kicking the commission habit for its remaining brokerage customers.
The big bank says it is shifting away from charging commissions on customer trades and going towards a more customer friendly, fee-only business model. The change applies to investment advisors working out of Citibank branches.
The other day I wrote a column about a series of meetings FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair had this summer with Citi Chairman Dick Parsons. The column was based on entries in Bair’s datebook, a copy of which the FDIC turned over to me in response to a FOIA request.
It looks like Citi is on a mission to prove it doesn’t need any stinking help from the federal government. Earlier this week it tapped the bond market for $5 billion, but the notes carried the FDIC guarantee. As the FT noted in its piece yesterday, the move seemed at odds with the bank’s supposed attempts to get out from under the government’s thumb.