Northern Trust Corp. has written a letter to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., indicating the bank wants to start the process of repaying the $1.6 billion in bailout funds it received last fall under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The Chicago institution drew criticism this week from lawmakers in Washington over the lavish spending it did as title sponsor of a PGA golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in suburban Los Angeles last weekend, according to a report today by Crain's Chicago Business.
The bank flew hundreds of employees and clients to the weeklong event, putting them up in expensive hotels, providing dinners and concerts to its guests.
The events are part of the bank's global marketing activities and are focused on showing appreciation for clients and attracting new business, Douglas Holt, a spokesman for Northern Trust, told Associated Press earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Mr. Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and 17 other Democrats on the committee wrote to Northern Trust Chief Executive Frederick Waddell saying the bank should return to the government the equivalent of the amount it spent sponsoring the tournament.
Steve Daniels is a reporter for Crain's Chicago Business, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.