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Irish central bank fines Citigroup unit €1.3M for breaches of lending code

The Central Bank of Ireland fined Citigroup Inc.'s Irish unit, Citibank Europe Plc, roughly €1.3 million for six breaches of its lending code.

The breaches, which took place between January 2011 and September 2016, include failure to put in place necessary policies and procedures to implement the code and failure to report certain related party exposures, the central bank said Oct. 8.

In September 2016, Citibank Europe notified the central bank that it identified breaches of the code in its reporting of related party loans to senior managers, which came to light following the merger of the firm and U.K.-based affiliate Citibank International Ltd. in January 2016.

Following a request for further information about Citibank Europe's related party lending processes, the regulator found instances of unapproved lending to senior management and a "prolonged and serious error" in its reporting, among other shortcomings. In its investigation, the central bank found no evidence that the loans were granted to a related third party on more favorable terms than loans to a non-related party, but it stressed that Citibank Europe's inaccurate reporting meant that the regulator was unable to properly monitor the firm's exposures to related parties.

The central bank noted that the firm admitted to its failures and said it was satisfied that Citibank Europe has taken the necessary steps to correct the deficiencies that resulted to the breaches. It added that Citibank Europe cooperated during the investigation and settled at an early stage, qualifying for the maximum settlement discount of 30%.