WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has asked Northern Trust Corp. to return U.S. bailout funds equivalent to the bank's allegedly lavish entertainment expenses.
In a letter to the bank, Frank, chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said "we insist that you immediately return to the federal government the equivalent of what Northern Trust frittered away on these lavish events."
The letter, signed by Frank and 17 Democrats, referred in part to the bank's entertainment expenses connected with a PGA golf tournament that the company sponsors, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.
As part of the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, Northern Trust has accepted about $1.5 billion in federal funds. Last week, it flew hundreds of staff members and customers to Los Angeles for a luxurious retreat that include concerts by Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire and Sheryl Crow, the newspaper said.
"This behavior demonstrates extraordinary levels of irresponsibility and arrogance," the letter said.
A bank spokesman said the entertainment was part of the company's marketing strategy. "It's about client relationships and showing appreciation for clients," he said to the Tribune.