PenFed denies AML allegations; BofA's digital chief is leaving

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Wall Street Journal

Firm denial
Pentagon Federal Credit Union is denying allegations from some of its employees that it had a flawed anti-money laundering program. The allegations, which were aired to PenFed executives and regulators in 2016 and 2017, said the credit union needed to beef up its AML program but don't include evidence of money laundering by PenFed customers. "These false allegations against PenFed were properly reviewed by the appropriate third-party authorities that have unfettered access to ALL relevant information, and were determined to be unfounded," the credit union said.

Financial Times

Worry warts
Regional bank stocks are down more than those of big national banks, off 12% in the past four months compared to a 4% drop among the big U.S. banks. "The weakness, according to analysts and executives, reflects worries about declining credit quality, revenue growth and compressing margins."

Taking on the big boys
Monzo, the U.K. digital bank, has raised £85 million in new money, boosting its valuation to £1 billion, nearly four times what it was worth a year ago. The company plans to use the money to launch new products and double its number of employees "as it looks to expand beyond its existing millennial customer base to challenge mainstream lenders."

Elsewhere

Moving on
Michelle Moore, Bank of America's head of digital banking, is leaving the bank in order to spend more time with her family. She will be succeeded by David Tyrie, who in turn will be replaced by April Schneider, who will become the bank's head of consumer and small business products. Moore helped launched Erica, the bank's virtual mobile banking assistant, which the bank said has about 3.4 million users.

American Banker takes a look at the agenda for Moore's successor, David Tyrie.

Knuckling under
Mastercard said it has begun storing Indian transaction data within the country, seeking to comply with a directive from the Reserve Bank of India that mandates local electronic payments data be stored "only in India." "The directive sparked an aggressive lobbying effort from U.S. companies" that eventually failed. Visa has started storing a copy of its new transaction data locally but wants more time to fully comply with the rule.

I'm a believer
UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti bought one million shares of his bank's stock after the bank reported a 32% jump in third quarter earnings. The purchase cost him 13.1 million Swiss francs ($13.07 million).

Branching out
Citigroup has been granted a license to set up a retail banking branch at a financial center in Abu Dhabi. The granting of the license was made during a visit by Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat. "The new branch will provide liquidity management to Citi's clients looking to establish regional treasury centers in the United Arab Emirates, as well as offering institutional banking services to its global clients."

Quotable

"People have made a lot of money [in bank stocks], and they are cashing in." — Bruce van Saun, CEO of Citizens Financial.

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