Just under a month ago, Citigroup paid out nearly a billion dollars of its own money to some aggrieved hedge funds which objected to the way one of the bank’s clients did business. By Citi’s lights, this was an extremely unfortunate fuck-up, which for Citi and its leader it most certainly was. But as far as the Feds are concerned, it was merely par for the course—not a random screw up but a symptom of “longstanding deficiencies” that perhaps a $400 million fine will direct Jane Fraser’s attention.
The Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said in separate statements that the bank must overhaul its risk management, data governance and internal controls across the company, noting that it needs “comprehensive corrective actions.”
The OCC order also gives the regulator the ability to veto any significant new acquisitions by the bank, and reserves the right to require changes to senior management or the bank’s board if necessary.
This marks the second time in as many weeks that Citi has had to cut a novelty-sized check for being back at being a bank. And yet, neither atones for the most serious crime to come to light at the House of Corbat in recent weeks.
“He hated the idea of Obama,” says one. “He thought that it was a setup and that he was elected to satisfy the Black population.” [Citi senior vice president Jason] Gelinas would become agitated when the topic of the president came up, sometimes referring to Obama as “the Antichrist….” In 2018, while doing his job at Citi, he created, as an anonymous side project, a website dedicated to bringing QAnon to a wider audience—soccer moms, white-collar workers, and other “normies,” as he boasted. By mid-2020, the site, QMap.pub, was drawing 10 million visitors each month, according to the traffic-tracking firm SimilarWeb….
Indeed, that’s all bad enough that even as oblivious an organization as Citigroup noticed.
“Mr. Gelinas is no longer employed by Citi,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “Our Code of Conduct includes specific policies that employees are required to adhere to, and when breaches are identified, the firm takes action….”
The spokesperson didn’t elaborate, but last month the bank had said “employees are required to disclose and obtain approvals for outside business activities.” At the time, multiple reports had found that Gelinas was earning more than $3,000 a month from the crowdfunding site Patreon to pay QMap’s bills.
Citigroup fined $400 million by regulators, agrees to fix ‘longstanding deficiencies’ [Reuters]
QAnon High Priest Was Just Trolling Away as a Citigroup Tech Executive [Bloomberg Businessweek]
Citigroup fires executive Jason Gelinas for running a QAnon website [Thornton/N.Y. Post]