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Citi on Path to Higher Capital Return: Analysts

Bank of America saw its cushion increase to $21.5 billion from $9 billion. Wells Fargo has a capital cushion of $21.3 billion, while JPMorgan has $16.9 billion in excess regulatory capital, according to the Federal Reserve.

In a departure from last year, the Fed will release its decision on banks' capital deployment plans a week later on Thursday, March 14. The regulator hopes to engage in discussions with banks on their capital return plans and give the banks time to alter their requests if necessary.

However, Citigroup announced Thursday that it had requested a $1.2 billion buyback and had not asked for permission to increase its annual dividend from 4 cents a share.

Considering Citi's performance in the test, the low request may come as a disappointment to some investors.

KBW analyst Fred Cannon believes Citi's unexpected disclosure of its buyback plan might have been released to "limit the potential volatility in the company's stock as investors may have expected a large capital deployment in 2013 given the healthy stress test capital ratios." The analyst expects Citi to resume "meaningful capital deployment" in 2014.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Shanthi Bharatwaj.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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