The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced Thursday that it has fined Morgan Stanley $1 million and ordered $188,000 in restitution plus interest for failing to provide best execution in certain customer transactions involving corporate and agency bonds, and failing to provide a fair and reasonable price in certain customer transactions involving municipal bonds.
The $188,000 in restitution is the remainder of the $452,280 that Morgan Stanley was previously ordered to pay to customers for transactions covered by this settlement.
Morgan Stanley neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.
“Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is committed to seeking the best execution reasonably available for our clients,” the company said in a statement. “We fully cooperated with FINRA’s investigation. The settlement involved fewer than 300 fixed-income transactions over a four-year period during which some 4 million such trades were conducted. FINRA did not allege any willful or fraudulent conduct by the firm. Morgan Stanley will make restitution to the affected clients.”
According to FINRA, Morgan Stanley failed to use reasonable diligence to ensure that the purchase or sale price to the customer was as favorable as possible under current market conditions in 116 customer transactions involving corporate and agency bonds.