Four firms agreed to pay $105,000 in fines for violations of pricing, political contribution, supervisory and other rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority levied fines of: $57,500 for Monument, Colo.-based Advisors Asset Management Inc., $25,000 for New York-based Lebenthal & Co. LLC, $15,000 for New York-based Barclays Capital Inc., and $7,500 for Greenwich, Conn.-based Interactive Brokers LLC, according to its monthly disciplinary report released Friday.
FINRA found that Advisors Asset Management had widespread trade reporting and related errors between March 2008 and October 2010, resulting in violations of the MSRB's rules G-8 on books and records, G-14 on trade reporting, G-15 on confirmation, clearance and settlement requirements and G-27 on supervision.
The firm failed to properly report thousands of transactions, FINRA found. The errors included agency transactions that were inaccurately reported as principal trades, duplicative trade reports and inaccurate trade confirmations.
John Webber, the firm's senior vice president and chief compliance officer, declined to comment.
Lebenthal & Co.'s fine was for violations of the MSRB's Rule G-37 on political contributions and Rule G-27.
FINRA said the firm filed 13 incomplete Form G-37s with the MSRB between February 2008 and November 2011. The forms were missing information about the issuers with which the firm worked during the period, according to the self-regulator.
President and CEO Alexandra Lebenthal said the violations were "clerical errors" and that the firm discovered them internally and self-reported them to FINRA.
"It's the first time we have been in a situation like this," Lebenthal said. "This was a situation where we made a number of administrative errors. We accept our punishment and its onward and upward form here."
"We have strengthened our controls and don't expect to be in this situation again," Lebenthal added.
She said the errors did not affect the firm's ability to do business with any municipality.
G-37 prohibits dealers from engaging in negotiated muni bond business with an issuer for two years if they or their municipal finance professionals make significant contributions to issuer officials who could influence the award of muni bond business. The rule requires dealers to file quarterly reports disclosing certain contributions to issuer officials and to bond ballot campaigns, as well as other information.
Barclays' fine was for violations of rules G-8, G-14 and G-27.
In the second quarter of 2011, the firm did not report 40 transactions to the Real-Time Transaction Reporting System within 15 minutes of execution and did not report the correct time of trade of 66 transactions.
In addition, Barclays did not show the correct time of entry on trade memorandum for 39 transactions, FINRA said.
Mark Lane, Barclays' director of corporate communications, declined to comment.
Interactive Brokers also violated trade reporting requirements in Rule G-14, according to FINRA.
During the third quarter of 2010, the firm did not report 60 purchase and sale transactions to RTRS within 15 minutes of execution. The transactions represented roughly 8% of those reported by the firm during the period, FINRA said.
Interactive Brokers did not respond to a request for comment.
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