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USAA fined $85M over risk management, compliance violations

Gabe Hernandez | SABJ
Gabe Hernandez | SABJ (Gabe Hernandez | SABJ)

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between the San Antonio Business Journal and KSAT.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued an $85 million civil penalty against San Antonio-based USAA Federal Savings Bank on Wednesday, citing failures with the bank’s risk management and compliance, according to a news release.

The OCC said these issues led to violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Military Lending Act, and that the bank is working to remedy the violations under a 2019 consent order. The fine will be paid to the U.S. Treasury.

“The bank has failed to implement and maintain an effective compliance risk management program and an effective [information technology] risk governance program commensurate with the bank’s size, complexity and risk profile,” according to the OCC’s latest consent order. “The bank has deficiencies in all three lines of defense (first-line business units, independent risk management and internal audit) in its compliance risk management program.”

USAA said in a statement that it has been working diligently to hire the right expertise and improve its systems, although it has “not moved fast enough to close some gaps,” and that it is working cooperatively with the OCC.

“Simply put, we have fallen short of our high standards and those of our members and our regulators. As we grew quickly over the last decade, we never wavered from our commitment to serve members. However, we did not sufficiently invest in the capabilities and expertise necessary to meet regulatory requirements and evolving business needs,” USAA CEO Wayne Peacock said in a statement.

Read more on USAA’s previous violations at the San Antonio Business Journal.