Richard Bowen has been described in the news media, including the Wall Street Journal, CBS Evening News, and 60 Minutes, as the Citigroup whistleblower who repeatedly warned Citi executive management, beginning in 2006, about risky business practices and potential losses related to mortgage lending.
His warnings included a November 3, 2007, email to Robert Rubin, Chairman of the Citigroup Board of Directors, the Chief Risk Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Auditor. In this email, which was disclosed in public testimony, Mr. Bowen attempted to warn executive management and the board of directors about the extreme risks and potential losses to shareholders existing in his business unit. In this email Mr. Bowen also requested an outside investigation of his business unit.
Mr. Bowen testified before the SEC in July of 2008 and gave them 1,000 pages of documents. He also provided nationally-televised testimony on April 7, 2010, before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission about his experiences as Business Chief Underwriter for the Consumer Lending Group of Citigroup. In this position he had credit quality control responsibility over a business that involved the purchase and sale of $90 billion annually of residential mortgage loans. Mr. Bowen’s story has been widely reported in the news media and is also included in The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report, the congressional commission’s official report to Congress, the President of the United States and the American people.
Mr. Bowen’s experiences are also highlighted in the 60 Minutes story, Prosecuting Wall Street. “I started raising those warnings in June of 2006. The volumes increased through 2007 and the rate of defective mortgages increased to in excess of 80 percent,” Bowen told Steve Kroft in the interview that originally aired with 12 million viewers on December 4, 2011, and has since been re-aired eight times on CBS and CNBC. Additionally, details of the government cover-ups of Mr. Bowen’s testimony occurring at the SEC and FCIC were revealed in the September 22, 2013 New York Times op-ed Was This Whistle-Blower Muzzled? , and in a March 2015 Bloomberg TV interview Was there Wrongdoing in the Financial Crisis Mr. Bowen called for a Congressional investigation of the cover-ups.
Mr. Bowen has thirty-five years banking experience and has held executive positions in credit, finance, and information technology. Prior to Citigroup Mr. Bowen was Senior Vice President with Associates First Capital Corporation and Bank One Corporation and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of First National Bank of Oklahoma City.
Mr. Bowen is currently a professor of accounting at the University of Texas at Dallas and is a popular speaker in the field of business ethics. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas, and was named 2012 CPA of the Year by the Dallas Society of CPA’s.
Mr. Bowen was also recognized in the May/June 2012 issue of D CEO magazine as the recipient of its 2012 Financial Executives Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance. And he was also featured in the cover story of the May/June 2012 issue of Workforce Management magazine.
Mr. Bowen is a founding member of the Bank Whistleblowers United.