CIT urges FDIC on issue of guaranteed debt - FT

July 9 Thu Jul 9, 2009 5:09am BST

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July 9 (Reuters) - CIT Group Inc (CIT.N), a commercial U.S. lender struggling to finance its business, is pressing U.S. regulators to allow it to issue government-backed bonds to allay concerns over its financial health, the Financial Times reported on its website late on Wednesday.

CIT converted to a bank holding company in the fourth quarter of 2008 to qualify for U.S. government funds, but it has been unable to issue government-backed debt as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) has yet to approve its application.

The FT cited people close to the situation as saying CIT, which has about $75 billion in assets, had already drastically cut lending, but warned that without the FDIC's assistance the company might be forced to ask the Treasury and the Federal Reserve for help.

A former government official familiar with the situation told the paper CIT and the regulators were meeting almost every week but it was not clear why the FDIC had not yet approved the application.

CIT and the FDIC told the FT the application was still pending but declined to comment further.

On Wednesday, Fitch Ratings cut its ratings on CIT deeper into junk territory, citing concerns over the commercial lender's funding sources. [ID:nN08400046] CIT and the FDIC could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters. (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

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