Note to Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA),: Citigroup (C) is spying on you.
The big New York-based bank — which barely survived the 2008 financial crisis — now has researchers monitoring comments and speeches made by the firebrand Massachusetts senator, focusing on her comments about financial regulation and the future of Citigroup, people inside the bank tell FOX Business.
The surveillance effort is being conducted by Citigroup’s marketing department, which is worried about possible reputation damage given Warren’s well known animus toward the big banks. It began after comments Warren made about Citigroup on the Senate floor in December of last year where the Democrat criticized Citigroup’s lobbying efforts to water down the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and called for Citigroup to be broken up.
Among other jabs at the bank, Warren said: “There’s a lot of talk coming from Citigroup about how Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. Let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi: I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces.”
With that Citigroup’s marketing team launched a program to keep close tabs on Warren’s anti-bank attacks, and try and determine if it has caused any lasting damage to Citigroup’s brand. The bank is particularly concerned about the spill-over effect of Warren’s attacks as they spread through social media outlets like Twitter. Warren’s Dec. 12 Senate floor speech went viral on the Internet and was viewed more than 622,000 times on YouTube.
People inside the bank tell FOX Business it’s unclear if the damage from Warren’s broadsides is hurting Citigroup’s relationships with major clients.