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Regulatory Sanctions

Wells Fargo, Others Fined $14Mn for Deficient Document Retention - FINRA

December 22, 2016

[Photo:  Worms  -]


Wells Fargo and 11 other firms agreed to pay a total of $14.4 million in fines to settle FINRA charges that they had significant deficiencies relating to the preservation of broker-dealer and customer records in a format that prevents alteration. The lineup is, as follows:


  • Wells Fargo Securities and Wells Fargo Prime Services - jointly fined $4 million.
  • RBC Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets Arbitrage - jointly fined $3.5 million.
  • RBS Securities - fined $2 million.
  • Wells Fargo Advisors, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network and First Clearing - jointly fined $1.5 million.
  • SunTrust Robinson Humphrey - fined $1.5 million.
  • LPL Financial - fined $750,000.
  • Georgeson Securities Corporation - fined $650,000.
  • PNC Capital Markets - fined $500,000.


ACCORDING TO FINRA.   At various times, and in most cases for prolonged periods, the firms failed to maintain electronic records in “write once, read many,” or WORM, format, which prevents the alteration or destruction of records stored electronically. These deficiencies affected millions, and in some cases, hundreds of millions, of records pivotal to the firms’ brokerage businesses, spanning multiple systems and categories of records.


Federal securities laws and FINRA rules require that business-related electronic records be kept in WORM format to prevent alteration. The SEC has stated that these requirements are an essential part of the investor protection function because a firm's books and records are the "primary means of monitoring compliance with applicable securities laws, including antifraud provisions and financial responsibility standards.”