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Toronto-based Bank of Montreal (BMO) is creating a financial crimes unit bringing together existing capabilities around cybersecurity, fraud and physical security.

Larry Zelvin, who joins the bank on Jan. 14, will lead the new unit. 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 CEO Darryl White says the financial services 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, 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.