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Citigroup hit with £44mln PRA fine for "serious and widespread" failures

The regulators have been piling the pressure on big banks to improve transparency in reporting ever since the financial crisis, with Goldman Sachs fined £34mln in March

Citigroup Inc. -
Citigroup is the third largest American bank, with assets totalling over US$2trn

Citigroup Inc’s (NYSE:C) UK operation was slapped with a £44mln fine by the Bank of England’s regulator for failing to accurately report its returns, the biggest fine issued to date.

The bank’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) issued a final notice on Tuesday for £43.9mln, saying that between 2014 and 2018, Citi’s “serious and widespread” failings led the bank to misrepresent its financial position.

Regulatory pressure has been increasing on big banks ever since the financial crisis, and earlier this year fellow American institution Goldman Sachs was hit with a £34mln fine for failing to provide accurate reporting of transactions over a decade.

The total fine would have totalled £63mln but Citigroup, which is the third largest American bank with assets totalling over US$2trn, received a 30% discount on the fine for agreeing to resolve the issues quickly.

Failures with reporting

“While Citi remained in surplus to its liquidity and capital requirements at all times,” said the PRA in a statement, the bank’s oversight and governance in relation to regulatory reporting “fell significantly below the standards expected of a systemically important institution”.

The PRA took issue with the way Citi designed, implemented and operated its UK regulatory reporting framework, and said its documentation of multiple aspects of its UK regulatory reporting control framework was “inadequate”, as it did not allocate enough staff to ensure complete reporting.

Sam Woods, deputy governor for prudential regulation and chief executive officer of the PRA said: “Citi failed to deliver accurate returns and failed to meet the standards of governance and oversight of regulatory reporting which we expect of a systemically important bank.”

A spokesperson at the US bank said it had “fully remediated” the past regulatory reporting issues identified by the PRA, and settled this matter at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Citi co-operated fully with the PRA throughout the process, and in 2019 a leading independent accountancy and audit firm confirmed that Citi had remediated the material issues identified,” it added.

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NYSE:C
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Market Cap: $165.3 billion
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