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Mayo’s Pick: Citi vs. Bank of America

Citigroup's plan to lay off 11,000 employees in a restructuring effort was a step in the right direction, Mike Mayo said Wednesday on CNBC.

On "Fast Money," Mayo said that the move – as well as its new leadership – made Citi a best-of-breed name.

"The name you want to own right here, right now is Citigroup vs. Bank of America," he said. "Citigroup has a chairman and a new CEO that's willing and able to take the tough actions for sustainable growth, I think, and so you have some positive indication of that today."

Citigroup appeared likely to have "a material dividend increase" by April, he added.

(Read More: Citigroup Axes 11,000 Jobs, $1.1 Billion in Costs)

Stephen Weiss of Short Hills Capital disagreed on Bank of America, whose stock was priced at 60 percent of book value.

"I think that stock goes a lot higher, and it's much easier to understand than Citi at this point," he said.

OptionMonster's Pete Najarian also preferred Bank of America, noting its simplified mortgage process.

"I think it doesn't stop at $10," he said.

Mayo had a supporter in RiskReversal.com's Enis Taner.

"I think Citi is a far better 'own.' In fact, I think it's really one of the few 'owns' in financials I would hold," he said.

Trader disclosure: On Dec. 5, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Pete Najarian is long AAPL; Pete Najarian is long BAC CALLS; Pete Najarian is long JPM CALLS; Pete Najarian is long INTC CALLS; Pete Najarian is long SBUX; Pete Najarian is long FB; Pete Najarian is long FB CALLS; Pete Najarian is long MSFT; Pete Najarian is long DIS; Enis Taner is long AMZN PUTS; Enis Taner is long GS; Enis Taner is long SPY PUTS; Enis Taner is long AAPL CALL SPREAD; Enis Taner is long XLF PUTS; Enis Taner is long JCP PUT SPREAD; Enis Taner is short JCP CALL SPREAD; Stephen Weiss is long C; Stephen Weiss is long BAC; Stephen Weiss is long FCX; Stephen Weiss is short JCP; Josh Brown is long AAPL; Josh Brown is long WFC; Josh Brown is long GDX; Josh Brown is long GLD; Josh Brown is long XLU; Josh Brown is long TLT; Josh Brown is long XLF; Josh Brown is long WMT; Josh Brown is long TGT.

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