The Bank of England has hit Citigroup with a record £44 million (U.S. $56.5 million) fine after it found three of its U.K. units had failed to submit complete and accurate regulatory information about the lender’s capital and liquidity levels for four years.
The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA)—the Bank of England’s supervisory body—said between June 19, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2018, Citi’s U.K. regulatory reporting framework was not designed, implemented, or operating effectively, meaning the financial information it gave the regulator was unreliable (even though the banking group remained in surplus to its liquidity and capital requirements at all times).
The PRA added the units did not allocate sufficient human resources “to ensure accurate regulatory reporting for an organization of Citi’s size, complexity and systemic importance,” while its oversight and governance “fell significantly below the standards expected.
The problems occurred at some of the bank’s most important units in the world, including Citigroup Global Markets Ltd, which is the hub of the firm’s non-U.S. trading and deal-making operations. The London-based entity had hundreds of billions of dollars of assets at the end of last year—enough to make it one of Europe’s biggest investment banks on a standalone basis.”
Sam Woods, deputy governor for prudential regulation and CEO of the PRA, said in a statement: “Accurate regulatory returns from firms are vital for the PRA in fulfilling our role. 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.”
In an e-mailed statement, Citi said: “Citi has fully remediated the past regulatory reporting issues identified by the PRA and settled this matter at the earliest possible opportunity.”
It added: “Citi places a high priority on meeting its regulatory reporting requirements and has devoted significant resources to U.K. financial reporting before, during, and after the period to which the PRA’s notice relates. The PRA acknowledges that Citi has made substantial strategic enhancements to its regulatory reporting infrastructure in the U.K. and has also conducted a review of the systems and controls underpinning its regulatory reporting framework.”
Citi cooperated with the PRA’s investigation, which meant it qualified for a 30 percent fine reduction. Without this discount, the fine would have been £62.7 million (U.S. $80.6 million).