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Citi's CEO 'put himself on the line': Mike Mayo

Two weeks after he said Citigroup's CFO "needs to go" following a failed stress test, CLSA bank analyst Mike Mayo said Tuesday that he's still looking for answers.

On a recent investor call, Mayo asked Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat, who "is accountable for the failed stress test and what (are) the consequences?

"I got half my answer, and half I didn't," Mayo said. "Half the answer that I got was the CEO said he's accountable. What does that mean? What are the consequences? So, I think what the CEO's doing is providing cover for his management team, so that makes the CFO, the chief risk officer, others safe for now. But if Citi fails the Fed's stress test a year from now, then there's the question of the CEO's job. …

"He's put himself on the line."

Read More Citigroup CFO John Gerspach must go: Mike Mayo

On CNBC's "Halftime Report," Mayo said that he would press Citigroup's chairman and board of directors for answers at Friday's annual meeting.

"Why were they so surprised by the Fed's stress test, and what are the consequences from their perspective?" he said.

Despite his criticism of Citi's management, Mayo kept his "buy" rating for the stock and a price target of $58 per share.

"I'm a definite buyer of Citigroup here," he said. "Don't forget the stock's down 90 percent from pre-crisis. They are a unique restructuring story in an industry with serious revenue headwinds."

Mayo added that "Citi has several levers to pull," suggesting that the bank could sell off or IPO its troubled Banamex division.

Read MoreKey investor: Citi stock 'ridiculously cheap'

"I don't think they're doing it now, but that's the sort of action that I would like them to at least consider more," he said. "And that'll be one question I ask to the chairman of Citigroup next Tuesday."

Mayo also kept his "underperform" rating on JPMorgan.

"I still think it's dead money, but who is the CEO of JPMorgan, and what have they done to Jamie Dimon?" he said, adding that the most recent CEO letter was "a love letter to regulators."

"They're de-risking, de-leveraging. It hurt their revenues, down 8 percent year over year for JPMorgan," Mayo said. "I would get out of JPMorgan and go into Citigroup."

By CNBC's Bruno J. Navarro. Follow him on Twitter @Bruno_J_Navarro.

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