NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit offered a bold outlook for his troubled firm Thursday, saying he hoped his company would soon be able to deliver profits of approximately $20 billion.
Pandit, speaking at a company-sponsored conference, did not give a time frame for when the bank would generate this profit. He did stress however that the company would be able to earn big returns on the assets within its Citicorp division, which oversees both its investment bank and consumer banking businesses.
"It is time to shift our focus to the future which is Citicorp," he told an audience in New York.
The company split itself into two parts in January 2009 - Citicorp and Citi Holdings - as part of an effort to get the beleaguered bank back on track.
Citi Holdings, which was created as a dumping ground for its so-called "troubled assets", controls roughly $547 billion worth of assets. Losses within that division widened to $2.4 billion during fourth quarter of last year.
Capturing large profits within its Citicorp business though could offset any troubles within its Citi Holdings division.
It would also be a significant turnaround from the severe losses the bank has endured since the start of the crisis. During 2008 alone, Citigroup lost $27.7 billion.
The company already reached one major milestone late last year after paying back the $45 billion it received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
U.S. taxpayers however, still own a 27% stake in the company.
At a hearing in Washington last week, a Treasury Department official said the agency planned to dispose of its remaining stake in the firm "as soon as possible."
Pandit noted Thursday that the government will not be able to sell any of its shares until at least later this month when a lock-up on Citigroup stock expires. Treasury would also have to give notice if it indeed planned to sell at least part of its stake.
"Given where the economy is, given where the stock is, I wouldn't be surprised if they would think about doing that," said Pandit.
Some families are outraged at the sums they've been offered by Lufthansa as compensation for the Germanwings plane crash in March which killed 150 people. More
As the public weighs in, debates about the $10 bill redesign are heating up. More
Uber promises to pour $1 billion into India over next nine months, says the market is a global priority. More
Fast-food chains that operate in more than 30 locations nationwide are the sole target of a new rule in New York to hike their minimum wage to $15. But consumers and small business owners, as well as some employees, may be the ones to pay the price. More
You can't blame it on the economy anymore. More Millennials now have jobs, but are still living at home. More