Bank of America, under pressure from its U.S. regulator, has shifted its compliance group from its legal department to its risk-oversight group, news agency Reuters reported late Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the matter.
According to Reuters, the move comes as federal regulators have warned big banks to adopt more ethical internal cultures or face being broken up so they are easier to manage.
Officials with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which in September finalized "heightened expectations" guidelines for how big banks manage their risks, discussed the matter with Bank of America last month, according to Reuters.
Not long after that meeting, Bank of America decided to shift its compliance group to its risk-control area, Reuters reported.
Here's an excerpt from the story:
The OCC pressed for the move out of a belief that the legal group was focused on minimizing the application of rules, the source said.
Bank of America spokesman Dan Frahm said that it had combined compliance and risk to align all risk management oversight under the bank's Chief Risk Officer Geoffrey Greener.
He said it was part of the bank's efforts to simplify how it operates after largely resolving legacy issues related to the financial crisis.Reuters said its source spoke on condition of anonymity and cited a lack of authorization to speak publicly on the matter.
In April, Bank of America announced it had named Greener, who had been responsible for making sure the Charlotte-based bank met regulatory capital requirements, its new chief risk officer. Greener replaced Chief Risk Officer Terry Laughlin, who was named to a new post, strategic initiatives president.
At the time, the bank said Laughlin, in the new role, will oversee an initiative called Simplify and Improve, which is designed to further simplify the company.