A Closer Look: Despite TARP spin, lending falls at Citi during first quarter

Did Citigroup (C) just say it cut back on consumer and business lending in the first three months of 2009? It seems so. Deep in a quarterly update on how it's using the $45 billion in capital it received from the government, released this morning, Citi revealed that its new lending fell 13 percent in the first quarter if stock and bond underwriting aren't counted.

Citi says its total lending surged in the three months ending in March. But that takes into account a surge in securities underwriting. Ignore the jump and loans to individuals and businesses for purposes other than issuing equity or debt fell from $60.1 billion in the final quarter of 2008 to $52.4 billion in the first three months of 2009, Citi says.