More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Using Solicitors to Attract Clients Rule 206(4)-3 under the Investment Advisors Act establishes requirements governing cash payments to solicitors. The rule permits payment of cash referral fees to individuals and companies recommending clients to an RIA, but requires four conditions are first satisfied.
- Agency and Principal Transactions In passing Section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act, Congress recognized that principal and agency transactions can be harmful to clients. Such transactions create the opportunity for RIAs to engage in self-dealing.
FINRA announced Wednesday that it has fined Citigroup Global Markets $725,000 for failure to disclose conflicts of interest in its research reports and research analysts' public appearances.
Brad Bennett (left), FINRA executive vice president and chief of enforcement, said in a statement, "Citigroup failed to make required conflict of interest disclosures which prevented investors from being aware of potential biases in its research recommendations. Firms need to provide investors with full and accurate information so they will be able to take it into consideration before making an investment decision."
FINRA said that Citigroup had failed to disclose conflicts of interest inherent in business relationships in some research reports that were published between January 2007 and March 2010. Among the conflicts were the receipt of investment banking or other revenue from covered companies; the management or co-management of public securities offerings by Citigroup and/or its affiliates; the making of a market in securities of or a 1% or greater beneficial ownership in covered companies; and a lack of disclosure of these circumstances in certain research reports.
Research analysts from Citigroup also failed to disclose these conflicts of interest during public appearances in which they mentioned covered companies.
FINRA also found that Citigroup failed to disclose the required information because the database it used to identify and create the disclosures was inaccurate and/or incomplete due primarily to technical deficiencies. In addition, Citigroup failed to have reasonable supervisory procedures in place to ensure that the firm was populating its research reports with required disclosures.
The firm neither admitted nor denied FINRA's findings, but consented to their entry.