U.S. fines 16 Wall Street firms $1.8 bln for talking deals, trades on personal apps



By Michelle Price

Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Tuesday fined 16 financial firms, including Barclays BARC.L , Bank of America BAC.N , Citigroup C.N , Credit Suisse CSGN.S , Goldman Sachs GS.N , Morgan Stanley MS.N and UBS UBSG.S , a combined $1.8 billion after staff discussed deals and trades on their personal devices and apps.

The sweeping industry probe, first reported by Reuters last year and subsequently disclosed by multiple lenders, is a landmark case for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), marking one their largest collective resolutions.

From January 2018 through September 2021, the banks' staff routinely communicated about business matters such as debt and equity deals with colleagues, clients and other third party advisers using applications on their personal devices such as text messages and WhatsApp, the agencies said.

The institutions did not preserve the majority of those personal chats, violating federal rules which require broker-dealers and other financial institutions to preserve business communications. That impeded the agencies' ability to oversee financial markets, ensure compliance with key rules, and gather evidence in other, unrelated investigations, the agencies said.

Spokespeople for UBS, Morgan Stanley and Citi said the banks were pleased to have resolved the matter. Bank of America, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Nomura and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

"Today's actions – both in terms of the firms involved and the size of the penalties ordered – underscore the importance of recordkeeping requirements: they're sacrosanct. If there are allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct, we must be able to examine a firm's books and records," said Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement.

The failings occurred across all 16 firms and involved employees at multiple levels, including senior and junior investment bankers and traders, the SEC said.

In a major victory for the agencies, the institutions admitted the facts and acknowledged that they violated federal laws, although Bank of America and Nomura neither admitted nor denied aspects of the CFTC's investigative findings, it said.

The institutions, which cooperated with the investigation, have begun implementing improvements to their compliance policies and procedures, the SEC said.

'WE DELETE CONVOS'

Wall Street banks have for years struggled to stamp out the use of personal devices at work - often banning them altogether from trading floors - but the problem became acute as bankers and traders worked from home during the pandemic.

According to CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero, staff used personal apps to evade oversight, sometimes at the direction of senior executives who knew they were violating bank policies but wanted to obfuscate trading communications.

In one example cited by her office, Bank of America staff used WhatsApp, with one trader writing: "We use WhatsApp all the time but we delete convos regularly." The head of a trading desk routinely directed traders to delete messages on personal devices and to use Signal, including during the CFTC's probe.

In another example, a Nomura trader deleted messages, which included incriminating statements about trading, after the CFTC sent a request to preserve documents, her office said.

"Those choosing to participate in U.S. financial markets are on notice: the era of evasive communications practices is over," Goldsmith Romero said in a statement.



EXCLUSIVE-U.S. SEC opens inquiry into Wall Street banks' staff
communications -sources



Reporting by Eric Beech and Michelle Price in Washington; additional reporting by Pete Schroeder, Saeed Azhar and Lananh Nguyen; Editing by Caitlin Webber, Lisa Shumaker, Aurora Ellis and Richard Chang

免責聲明: XM Group提供線上交易平台的登入和執行服務,允許個人查看和/或使用網站所提供的內容,但不進行任何更改或擴展其服務和訪問權限,並受以下條款與條例約束:(i)條款與條例;(ii)風險提示;(iii)完全免責聲明。網站內部所提供的所有資訊,僅限於一般資訊用途。請注意,我們所有的線上交易平台內容並不構成,也不被視為進入金融市場交易的邀約或邀請 。金融市場交易會對您的投資帶來重大風險。

所有缐上交易平台所發佈的資料,僅適用於教育/資訊類用途,不包含也不應被視爲適用於金融、投資稅或交易相關諮詢和建議,或是交易價格紀錄,或是任何金融商品或非應邀途徑的金融相關優惠的交易邀約或邀請。

本網站的所有XM和第三方所提供的内容,包括意見、新聞、研究、分析、價格其他資訊和第三方網站鏈接,皆爲‘按原狀’,並作爲一般市場評論所提供,而非投資建議。請理解和接受,所有被歸類為投資研究範圍的相關内容,並非爲了促進投資研究獨立性,而根據法律要求所編寫,而是被視爲符合營銷傳播相關法律與法規所編寫的内容。請確保您已詳讀並完全理解我們的非獨立投資研究提示和風險提示資訊,相關詳情請點擊 這裡查看。

我們運用 cookies 提供您最佳之網頁使用經驗。更改您的cookie 設定跟詳情。

風險提示:您的資金存在風險。槓桿商品並不適合所有客戶。請詳細閱讀我們的風險聲明