U.S. Bank posts big jump in compliance, regulatory staff

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The number of employees involved in compliance and regulatory work at U.S. Bank has doubled over the past three years, the bank's CEO Andy Cecere told analysts at Barclays Americas Select Franchise in London.

Cecere said about 10% of the bank's staff is in regulatory-related activity, twice what it was three years ago.
"That growth trajectory was very steep and it is moderated and back to normal here in the second half," he said.

U.S. Bank declined to disclose what percentage of its regulatory and compliance staff was dedicated to the implementation of the fiduciary rule, saying only that the majority of the increase was due to a government consent order intended to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering program.

Terry Dolan, the bank's CFO, noted that risk and regulatory programs were the main reason expenses were growing at an unusually high rate of 6% to 7% annually. He added that the bank was shooting to get its expenses in "a more natural growth trajectory" in the range of 3% to 5%.

"We would expect as we get later into 2017 that the trajectory of expense growth will start to moderate and then as we get into 2018 and 2019 that the growth rate associated with risk-management activities and compliance activities will be more normal," he said.

During the bank's 2016 year-end earnings call, Dolan noted that fiduciary implementation costs contributed to a 6.9% year-over-year increase in noninterest expense. He said he expected costs to level off in the second and third quarter of this year.

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Fiduciary Rule Andy Cecere Terry Dolan U.S. Bank