Barclays to Pay $97 Million to Settle SEC's Allegations of Overbilling

By Austen Hufford and Dave Michaels Features Dow Jones Newswires

Barclays PLC agreed to pay $97 million to settle claims that its former wealth-management business overcharged thousands of clients on advisory fees and mutual-fund sales charges, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday.

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The SEC said that between 2010 and 2015, the Barclays unit improperly collected fees from clients for services it didn't perform. The business, which Barclays has since sold, failed to oversee third-party managers who invested client money elsewhere but still charged customers for monitoring the performance, the SEC said.

The agency also said the company recommended more expensive share classes to retirement-plan participants when cheaper share classes were available.

Barclays, based in London, agreed to pay the penalty without admitting or denying wrongdoing. A spokesman for the bank declined to comment.

Barclays will pay $93.5 million, including $13.8 million in interest and a $30 million penalty, to a fund that will return money to harmed clients. The company will also directly refund $3.5 million to certain advisory and brokerage clients.

"Barclays failed to ensure that clients were receiving the services they were paying for," said C. Dabney O'Riordan, co-chief of the SEC enforcement division's asset-management unit. "Each set of clients who were harmed are being refunded through the settlement."

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In 2015, Barclays agreed to sell its U.S. wealth and investment management unit to Stifel Financial Corp.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com and Dave Michaels at dave.michaels@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 10, 2017 17:03 ET (21:03 GMT)