Citibank has come to an agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to buy back several billion dollars worth of auction rate securities, the risks of which had been misrepresented.
The SEC had recently looked into the situation and decided Citibank had mismarketed and sold the securities as being less risky than they were. Citigroup had promoted them as being as safe as similar cash based products though this is not the case.
Although Citibank are buying the securities back it is something they could really do without since they have been hit very hard by the collapse of the sub-prime lending market. Financing the buyback will damage the bank further as they will have to reimburse any customers who sold for a loss, on top of paying fines worth USD100 million.