NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc plans to pay back TARP by raising money in an equity offering that could be announced as early as Thursday and could be some $20 billion, television network CNBC reported, citing sources.

Earlier on Wednesday, the bank’s chairman, Dick Parsons, told CNBC that Citigroup was in talks with regulators about repaying the funds it received 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 bank is eager to pay back the government in part to avoid pay restrictions for 2009 compensation.

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.