Citigroup Fined $1.25M For Background Check Infractions

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined Citigroup’s global markets business $1.25 million for not performing background checks on thousands of non-registered employees for a period of seven years, according to a report by Reuters.

The infractions occurred from 2010 to 2017 and involved 10,400 employees. FINRA said the bank didn’t perform “timely or adequate” background checks on the employees; as a result, three people with criminal backgrounds were hired, which is a violation of regulatory requirements.

FINRA’s regulations state that most employees at the firms it oversees must be screened for criminal history as well as fingerprinted, regardless of whether the employee is registered with FINRA or involved with investment decisions.

Citigroup’s global markets division self-reported the issue. The company has strict procedures in place for registered workers and those intending to register, but the protocols for non-registered employees were much looser. Citi is the third-biggest U.S. bank in terms of assets.

The bank has neither confirmed nor denied the charges; a bank representative told Reuters they are glad the matter is resolved.

In other Citi news, the company recently announced it is teaming up with Grab, the ride-hailing startup out of Singapore, to roll out co-branded credit cards. Reuters, citing Gonzalo Luchetti, Citi’s head of consumer banking for Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, reported that the aim is to boost Citigroup’s customer base in Singapore by around 13 percent by engaging in partnerships with digital companies.

“Today, we have about 16 million customers in Asia, and our aspiration is to increase this by about two million in the next few years through partnerships alone,” Luchetti said.

In May, Citigroup launched a co-branded credit card with Paytm, the Indian digital payments company, and with Qantas a couple of years ago.

“The Citi-Grab credit card is a natural next step as we create more value for our digital-first, always in GrabPay users,” said Huey Tyng Ooi, managing director of GrabPay for Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

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