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Europe Banks to Repay Less of Crisis Loans Than Expected: Hot Trends

Tickers in this article: C

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include LTROs, or long-term refinancing operations, after news that banks in Europe will pay back much less of the expected amount of crisis loans they borrowed from the European Central Bank a year ago.

Banks will repay the ECB €61.1 billion ($80.8 billion) in the second of two three-year loans they took out. The ECB said 356 banks decided to repay funds from the second loan at their earliest opportunity on Feb. 27.

A Reuters poll estimated banks would return €130 billion of the second round of loans.

The ECB loaned banks more than €1 trillion in two rounds of LTROs in December 2011 and February 2012. Last month, banks opted to repay the ECB €137.2 billion of the first of the twin loans at their earliest opportunity on Jan. 30, a good sign of the banking system's return to health.

Citigroup(C) is trending as the bank plans to overhaul its bonus payout structure, bowing to shareholder anger over executive pay.

A portion of the pay packages given to top executives now will be linked to Citi's performance. That portion, called performance share units, will be linked to the company's performance in comparison to its competitors and return on assets. The company's board will continue to approve base salaries, cash bonuses and deferred stock given to those executives.

Citigroup Chairman Michael O'Neill said in a regulatory filing that a five-member committee on executive pay determined the new plan after meeting with investors.

Last April, more than half of Citi's shareholders voted against the bank's bonus packages.

Citigroup paid new CEO Michael Corbat $11.5 million in 2012. He received one of the few cash bonuses still being paid out to Wall Street CEOs that year.

Twitter is another popular search. The social microblogging site was the victim of security breach of Zendesk, a customer service software provider.

Zendesk said three of its clients were affected by the breach: Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. Zendesk announced the breach via a blog posting, while Tumblr has notified its affected users via email. Twitter and Pinterest are expected to notify their affected users as well.

According to Zendesk's blog post, it found the breach this week and was able to patch the vulnerability and close the hacker's access. Zendesk said it believes the hacker downloaded email addresses of users that had contacted those three Web sites for support and also obtained the e-mail subject lines of those support emails.

No passwords, password hashes or encrypted passwords are believed to have been stolen, and no user accounts are believed to have been compromised.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.