€1.3m Irish fine for Citibank

€1.3m Irish fine for Citibank

By Geoff Percival

Citibank Europe has been fined €1.33m by the Central Bank for a series of lending code breaches, including unapproved lending to senior management.

Citibank Europe is headquartered in Dublin and acts as financial giant Citigroup’s main European retail banking division. The breaches stretch back five years and were identified — and notified to the Central Bank — after Citibank Europe moved head office from London to Dublin in 2016.

The Central Bank said that Citibank had failed to put in place the necessary governance policies and procedures to implement its lending code, until two years and eight months after the code came into effect.

“The code imposes a set of clear requirements on credit institutions...Citibank has fallen far short of the Central Bank’s expectations in this regard, which is wholly unacceptable,” Seána Cunningham, the Central Bank’s director of enforcement and anti-money laundering, said.

Citibank said the matter did not affect clients. There was no evidence that the management loans were made on more favourable terms than to customers. But, the Central Bank said the inaccurate reporting meant it didn’t have the necessary visibility to monitor Citibank’s exposures to related parties.

It is the twelfth fine valued at over €1m handed out by the Central Bank to a financial institution since 2013. Separately, the Central Bank has named FXBTG Financial (Ireland and New Zealand) as an unregulated investment firm.

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