Citigroup - Oops They Did It Again!

It's been a rough old time on the playing field over at Citigroup these past few weeks. And unfortunately the world's largest financial services institution has now scored another regulatory own goal.

Just as Citigroup CEO Charles Prince was busy eating humble pie in Japan on Monday, bowing low and apologizing for his firm's misdeeds, US regulator NASD was also busy - kicking Citigroup and Prince hard and right between the legs again.

The Japanese might have been impressed with Chuck's seven-second bow and acknowledgement of wrongdoing, but that didn't stop NASD fining Citigroup Global Markets a record $250,000 for distributing inappropriate hedge fund sales literature between July 1st 2002 and June 30th, 2003.

The regulator said that it had found 95 pieces of sales literature which cited 'targeted rates of return', but which did not give investors a sound basis for evaluating the validity of the targets. Citigroup settled without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

Mr Prince can quite rightly point to the fact that he was not Citigroup CEO at the time the alleged irregularities occurred. Hang on, though - wasn't he responsible for the Global markets business itself then ?

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