Citigroup article updated with spokesperson statement.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Citigroup

(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

CEO Vikram Pandit expects to be able to return significant capital to shareholders over the next few years and said that the bank will start making progress on expenses by the end of the year, according the

Wall Street Journal

.

In an interview in Singapore with

Dow Jones Newswires

, Pandit said that the bank has a "very strong capital generation story." Citigroup stands to benefit from big deferred tax assets(DTA) resulting from its massive losses from the crisis. These accumulated losses can be netted against their income tax expense as they make profit.

"The plan we're on is to monetize that DTA and the plan we're on is to return that capital to our shareholders as we get it," he said. All capital return plans will, of course, be dependent on regulatory approval.

Citigroup spokesperson Jon Diat told

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that the bank intends to begin returning capital as soon as 2012 and that it expects the pace of return to increase in 2013 and subsequent years as economic conditions improve.

Pandit also addressed concerns on the bank's elevated expenses. He said that the investments the bank has been making in Asia would pay off by the end of the year. Citi will also outline its plans to manage costs in a slower revenue environment in the U.S. when it announces its third quarter results, the CEO said.

Pandit and Citi's directors are in Singapore in their first-ever board meeting in Asia. The CEO remained upbeat about the prospects for emerging markets although he acknowledged that developed markets were in a period of prolonged growth, according to the report.

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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