Bloomberg News

CIT Will Reverse Trend of Shrinking Balance Sheet, Thain Says

September 14, 2011

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- CIT Group Inc. will focus on expansion, Chief Executive Officer John Thain said, as the small-business lender reverses its strategy of shrinking the balance sheet since exiting bankruptcy almost two years ago.

“We do absolutely want to focus on growth,” Thain, 56, said today at an investor conference hosted by Barclays Plc in New York. “Our assets, our balance sheet have been shrinking. We want to reverse that trend.”

Thain, the former CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co., has sold assets to help CIT, once the biggest independent commercial lender in the U.S., recover from a bankruptcy that wiped out $2.3 billion in government bailout money. Assets at the New York-based company totaled $48 billion in the second quarter, down 17 percent from $58.1 billion in the first quarter of 2010 after the company exited bankruptcy.

CIT rose 9 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $32.78 at 10:27 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares fell 31 percent this year through yesterday.

--Editor: Steve Dickson

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at

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