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Citigroup Chairman Not Pushing Bank Breakup

Even thinking about breaking up is hard to do. Just ask Citigroup Inc.Michael E. O'Neill was among a small group of directors who after the financial crisis urged the company to weigh splitting up the third-largest U.S. bank, said people familiar with the deliberations.Mr. O'Neill, now chairman, has reshaped the New York company over the past year, overseeing a management shake-up and backing a broad cost-cutting plan. But exploring a breakup is no longer among his top priorities.Mr. O'Neill has concluded that breaking up Citigroup (C) doesn't make sense now, given economic and regulatory uncertainty as well as a host of financial considerations, these people said. A Citigroup spokeswoman declined to comment.The shift is noteworthy because Mr. O'Neill has shown a willingness to revamp financial companies. He downsized Bank of Hawaii Corp. (BOH) as chief executive and advocated simplifying the sprawling Bank of America Corp. (BAC) when he was a candidate in 2009 to replace Kenneth Lewis...

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