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Bank of America Aligns Compliance with Risk Management

Posted January 19, 2015

Bank of America earlier this month moved its compliance function out of the bank's legal department and aligned it under its Risk Management organization.

Some have suggested that the move by the nation’s second largest bank is a response to government regulators urging financial institutions to do a better job of integrating compliance efforts with risk mitigation and governance.

Last September, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency published final guidelines intended to strengthen the governance and risk management practices of large financial institutions which it called upon to establish and adhere to a written risk governance framework to manage and control risk-taking activities.

A bank spokesman said the move was part of BofA’s efforts to simplify how it operates after legacy matters have been largely resolved.

In August of last year, the Justice Department announced that Bank of America would pay a record $16.65 billion fine to settle allegations that it knowingly sold toxic mortgages to investors. Several months prior to that, the company had also agreed to $9.5 billion in fines to settle civil lawsuits claiming it had fraudulently misrepresented the quality of $57.5 billion worth of residential mortgage-backed securities leading into the financial crisis.