The Securities and Exchange Commission said it approached a settlement with Citigroup in a rational manner, as it defended the move, tied to the bank's subprime-mortgage exposure, in court filings. U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle criticized the bank last month for its $75 million proposal and its decision to name only two individuals. "The proposed $75 million penalty represents less than 0.3% of Citigroup's revenue for the most recent quarter, and should not cause an undue negative financial impact on the company's business, or significant harm to current Citigroup shareholders," according to the SEC.

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