Deutsche Bank Securities agreed Wednesday to pay a $9.5 million penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to properly safeguard material nonpublic information generated by its research analysts.
The SEC’s order also states that Deutsche Bank published an improper research report and failed to properly preserve and provide certain electronic records sought by the SEC during its investigation.
According to the SEC’s order, Deutsche Bank encouraged its equity research analysts to communicate frequently with customers as well as its own sales and trading personnel, but lacked adequate policies and procedures to prevent analysts from disclosing yet-to-be-published views and analyses, changes in estimates, and short-term trade recommendations during morning calls, trading day squawks, idea dinners and non-deal road shows.
“Information generated by research analysts such as ratings, views, estimates, and trading recommendations can move markets,” said Antonia Chion, associate director of the SEC Division of Enforcement, in a statement. “Broker-dealers must maintain and enforce policies and procedures that are reasonably designed in light of the nature of their business to prevent the misuse of such information.”
The SEC’s order also finds that Deutsche Bank issued a research report with a “BUY” rating for discount retailer Big Lots that was inconsistent with the personal view of the analyst who prepared and certified it as true despite privately telling others that Big Lots should have been downgraded. The analyst was charged by the SEC earlier this year.