Employees handling three FleetBoston mutual funds, including one designed for kids, allowed market timing, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing the company itself and individuals privy to the trades.

As if allowing rapid-fire trading in the Newport Tiger Fund and Columbia GrowthStock Fund (formerly the Stein Roe Growth Stock Fund) was not bad enough, Fleet is bound to come under a flood of criticism for the market timing it permitted in the $855 million Columbia Young Investor Fund.

The trouble with the improper trading in the Asian-based $371 million Newport Tiger Fund could turn out to be just as troubling though, the Journal reports, since market timing across different time zones can be particularly harmful because of the stale prices timers get.

Although Fleet has taken a stance against market timing, including implementing a 2% redemption fee, the company is nonetheless speaking soberly about the market timing in these three funds.

Spokesman Charles Salmans told the Journal , "We take this seriously. We do everything we can to deter it. That’s been our standard and one we are pursuing with increasing vigor."

The Newport Tiger and Stein Roe Growth Stock Funds, part of Fleet’s Columbia Funds unit, are facing charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said in a filing last month.

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