US regulators fine Citi $136 million for failing to address longstanding data issues

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. bank regulators fined Citigroup $136 million for failing to make adequate progress fixing data management issues the agencies identified in 2020, the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday.

The joint enforcement action from the Fed and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) relates to “insufficient progress” Citi has made fixing data management problems and implementing controls to manage that ongoing risk, the Fed said.

The regulators fined the bank $400 million in 2020 after identifying “ongoing deficiencies” in Citigroup’s handling of various areas of risk management and internal controls, including data quality management.

The bank agreed a sweeping plan to fix its data quality and management issues, but a Fed exam last year found that the bank still had deficiencies and had not made adequate progress on the order, the Fed said.

“Citigroup violated the 2020 Order through delays in completing milestones included in its approved plan,” the Fed said on Wednesday.

The fine is another blow for Citi CEO Jane Fraser’s effort to fix the bank’s regulatory issues and streamline its structure.

“We have acknowledged that, despite making good progress in simplifying our firm and addressing our consent orders, there are areas where we have not made progress quickly enough, such as in our data quality management,” she said in a statement.

Fraser added that the bank has intensified its focus and increased its investment in those areas over the last several months.

The bank’s top executives also said last month that they were stepping up efforts to fix regulatory problems.

In February, Reuters reported U.S. regulators asked Citi for urgent changes to the way it measures default risk of its trading partners, and the bank’s own auditors found a plan to improve internal oversight to be lacking.

(Reporting by Michelle Price and Pete Schroeder)


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