Citigroup's gun policy hasn't undermined earnings, CEO says

By FinancialsFOXBusiness

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Citigroup’s new restrictions on clients that sell firearms have not resulted in a meaningful amount of lost revenue and also spurred new business, its top executive said on Tuesday.

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“We’ve had people who brought business to us because we put our own policy forward and we’ve had people take business from us around the policy,” CEO Michael Corbat told attendees at its annual investor day. “Neither side has been material around the bottom line.”

In 2018, following a slew of mass shootings in the U.S., the New York City-based lender said retail partners would need to require background checks for gun purchases and restrict the sales of firearms to individuals over the age of 21, among other criteria.

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The action mirrored similar initiatives from Bank of America, but several financial firms, like JPMorgan Chase, opted not to institute such a policy.

The decisions sparked a backlash from Republican lawmakers, who argue it’s a violation of First Amendment rights and was done to appease liberal activists. At the bank’s investor day on Tuesday, shareholders also questioned whether it has undermined earnings at the bank.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
CCITIGROUP INC.67.48+0.40+0.60%
BACBANK OF AMERICA CORP.28.04+0.10+0.36%
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.109.82+0.28+0.26%

Responding to an inquiry from conservative activist Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research, Corbat said the policy has not “cost us a meaningful amount of money.”

He also denied that the policy is a threat to the Second Amendment, arguing that it does “not put restrictions on gun ownership, but really [tries] to institute a series of best practices.”

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Alongside lenders like Citigroup, retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and carriers like Delta Air Lines implemented new firearm restrictions or reduced ties with the National Rifle Association following the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and staff dead.