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  • Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) ran for election with a campaign promise to put an end to corruption in the country.

    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) ran for election with a campaign promise to put an end to corruption in the country. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 March 2019 (5 hours 43 minutes ago)

"We are talking about supporting the anti-corruption agenda, eliminating cash and contributing to the development of the southeast of the country," Michael Corbat said.

Citigroup, one of the largest international financial institutions, pledged Monday to support the Mexican President’s anti-corruption agenda as well as policies for more development in the southeastern region of the country and to reduce the use of cash.

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President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s (AMLO) met with national and international executives of Citibanamex, a subsidiary in Mexico of the United States-based firm, at the National Palace.

Ernesto Torres, general director of Citibanamex, was among those from the financial company in attendance. The meeting also included the Secretary of the Treasury Carlos Urzua, and the undersecretary of the same department, Arturo Herrera, the office of the presidency said.

"We are talking about supporting the anti-corruption agenda, eliminating cash and contributing to the development of the southeast of the country," said Michael Corbat, global director of Citi, after meeting with President Lopez Obrador, according to a statement released by Citibanamex.

"We are focused on investing in our franchise, with a history of 135 years, to bring together the best of Mexico and the best in the world," he added.

AMLO’s main campaign promise was to eradicate corruption; however, Citi’s track-record for corrupt dealings isn’t exactly clean.

In 2008 at the peak of the global financial crisis when the housing finance bubble imploded — the start of the Great Recession in the United States — Citigroup Inc. stunned Wall Street with reports that the company had suffered its worst-ever quarterly loss of US$10 billion.

The U.S. bailed out Citigroup, Inc., agreeing to shoulder most losses on about $306 billion of the bank’s risky assets, and inject new capital, bolstering investor hopes that the government will support big banks as the economy sinks into recession, Reuters reported.

That act put taxpayers on the hook for nearly US$250 billion in potential losses in a US$306 billion portfolio, including commercial real estate loans, leveraged loans, and other assets.

Although much of the damage inflicted on Citigroup and the economy as a whole was caused by high-voltage, erratic stock trading and lax supervision, the blame also reached the bank's highest ranks.

Earlier in 2008, the Federal Reserve re-incriminated the bank for poor supervision and poor risk control, according to a report sent to the group. Sources close to Citigroup say that the bank's risk managers never investigated carefully, El Pais reported.

In 2011, The Reserve Bank of India investigated fraud in Citibank's Gurgaon branch, a week after diversions of depositors funds in stock markets were discovered. Victims of the fraud complained to police that their securities had been cashed out without their knowledge or consent.

In 2012, a former vice president of the company who had admitted to embezzling more than US$22 million was sentenced to eight years in prison, according to federal prosecutors.


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