Citigroup to refund retail customers for investment losses: Australian regulator

A sign at the Citigroup Center is shown Thursday, April 16, 2009 in New York. Citigroup Inc. posted better-than-expected results for first quarter.reports earnings Friday, April 17. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

FILE PHOTO: The Citigroup Inc (Citi) logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Citigroup will refund more than A$3 million ($2.2 million) to retail customers in Australia who suffered losses from complex investments sold by the bank without adequate advice, the country’s corporate watchdog said on Monday.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it had concerns the bank’s financial advisers had sold the complex products without complying with regulatory and disclosure obligations required to provide personal financial advice.

Following an investigation by the regulator, Citi will refund 114 customers who invested in complex fixed coupon products and other capital at risk products between 2013 and 2017 and lost money, the regulator said in a statement.

The bank will also give customers with remaining investments in the products an opportunity to exit “without cost,” the regulator said.

Following the regulator’s investigation, Citi in January 2018 stopped selling structured products to retail clients without adequate personal financial advice, it said.

A spokeswoman for Citi, which is also defending a lawsuit brought against it by the country’s competition regulator over a 2015 capital raising, was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Chris Gallagher