Citigroup is looking for a chief compliance officer, reporting to the general counsel, while Mary McNiff, currently the chief compliance officer, will move to another role within the company in a few months. This is pursuant to an order from the US federal regulators in 2020 requiring their general counsel to be responsible for oversight of the compliance function.
Citigroup had been asked to pay a fine of $400 million in October 2020, and address issues of risk management and other operational problems that seemed to be persistent, resulting in several violations over the years and inviting several penalties. One of the stipulations was for them to transfer the compliance function out of the chief executive and into the general counsel, within a defined timeframe. Though reasons for asking for the move were not specified, it has been opined by governance experts that the reporting of compliance teams should not be to a leader who could benefit from non-compliance.
A new general counsel, Brent McIntosh, has been named in October by Citigroup. McNiff, compliance chief since June 2020, will be reporting to McIntosh till her role changes.
If senior executives are to be believed, addressing regulatory concerns and complying with orders is being given top priority in Citigroup. An overhaul of its information systems costing billions of dollars is also underway. However, they are not in a position to assess when, and after how much spending, will Citigroup be fully compliant.
The search for a new compliance officer was communicated by Jane Fraser, the chief executive, to employees through an internal communique, which was also seen by Reuters. The internal memo also talked of Jessica Roos, chief auditor at Citi since April 2019, heading the business services office, a new unit created to handle the simplification and linkages of the bank’s information, processes, and controls.
Until recently, Nadir Darrah the chief auditor for the primary subsidiary of Citi will succeed her as chief auditor. He has been with Citigroup since 2015.