Citi Hires FinCEN’s Blanco as Financial Crimes Compliance Chief

Citigroup Inc. hired Ken Blanco, the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, as its chief compliance officer of its newly created financial crimes unit.

Blanco worked on combating financial crimes and enforcing regulations on money laundering and terrorism financing at FinCEN, a bureau in the Department of Treasury. Before that, he spent 29 years in the U.S. Department of Justice, including serving as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and overseeing the investigation of white-collar fraud.

Blanco will start at Citi in the second quarter, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. He will step down from FinCEN on April 9.

Satisfying regulators and reshaping global operations are among the top challenges faced by Jane Fraser, who became Citi’s chief executive officer in March. Last year, the bank was fined by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for what the agency called an ongoing “failure to establish effective risk management and data governance programs and internal controls.”

The bank announced last year that it would create a new Financial Crimes Unit, integrating the anti-money laundering, sanctions and anti-bribery teams.

Blanco’s appointment follows a list of recent hires from U.S. regulators by Wall Street. On Thursday, Citadel Securities announced it hired Heath Tarbert, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as its chief legal officer.

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