UnionBanCal Corp., which has taken aggressive steps to distance itself from a money-laundering gaffe, hired a veteran federal regulator to head its independent risk monitoring group.The San Francisco company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., said John M. Wied started his new job Monday. Mr. Wied, who was named a senior executive vice president, spent 34 years with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. During his tenure, he was part of the OCC's large bank group, and since 1991 had worked primarily with Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. He was previously a regional bank examiner and field manager at the OCC.

"As Union Bank continues to make risk management and compliance an integral part of its culture, John will bring a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to make our efforts even more successful," Masaaki Tanaka, chief executive and president of UnionBanCal's Union Bank of California, said in a press release. Federal regulators fined the company $31.6 million in September of last year for what they labeled inadequate Bank Secrecy Act practices. Regulators cited a failure to file suspicious activity reports related to a client's attempts to launder money. UnionBanCal said it has improved training and upgraded computer systems to head off a recurrence.

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