BMO creates financial crimes unit with cybersecurity, fraud capabilities

The Bank of Montreal is creating a financial crimes unit bringing together existing capabilities around cybersecurity, fraud and physical security.

The new unit will be led by Larry Zelvin, who joins the bank on Jan. 14. He has been CitiGroup Inc.'s managing director and global head of cybersecurity.

BMO's financial crimes unit will work together with the bank's anti-money laundering group.

BMO chief executive Darryl White says the financial industry is faced with more sophisticated criminal activities and it's critical to invest in data protection.

The creation of the unit comes after the bank said last May that hackers contacted the bank claiming to be in possession of the personal data of fewer than 50,000 customers.

At the same time, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's Simplii Financial digital banking brand said ``fraudsters'' may have accessed certain personal and account information for about 40,000 clients.