US fines Citibank for poor risk management practices

NEW YORK • US authorities fined Citigroup Inc US$400 million (RM1.6 billion) over deficiencies in risk management practices and required an overhaul of internal controls at the global financial powerhouse, officials announced on Wednesday.

The US Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued the fine, in parallel with a related action from the Federal Reserve (Fed) citing failings at the bank.

The Fed said the crackdown reflected the fact Citi had “not taken prompt and effective actions to correct practices previously identified by the board in the area of compliance risk management, data quality management and internal controls”.

The Fed said the issues date back to 2013, but had not been adequately addressed.

Under the settlement with the OCC, Citi promised to appoint a compliance committee that will provide quarterly updates to the company’s board on actions to improve compliance. Other requirements include upgrades to data collection and a staffing assessment to ensure adequate resources for compliance.

Citi said it was committed to righting its standing with regulators and would commit US$1 billion in risk management-related programmes in 2020.

“We are disappointed that we have fallen short of our regulators’ expectations, and we are fully committed to thoroughly addressing the issues identified in the Consent Orders,” the bank said.

“The entire management team is committed to achieving operational excellence and a best-in-class risk and control environment.”

The settlement with regulators came about a month after Citi appointed Jane Fraser as CEO, the first woman from a major Wall Street bank to hold that post. Fraser will succeed outgoing chief Michael Corbat in February. — AFP