SEC Fines Citigroup $18 Million For Overbilling Investment Advisory Clients

By Francine McKenna Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Citigroup Global Markets will pay $18.3 million to settle charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it overbilled at least 60,000 advisory clients over a 15-year period by approximately $18 million and misplaced client contracts. The SEC said Citigroup cannot locate approximately 83,000 advisory account contracts that were initiated between 1990 and 2012. Citigroup, according to the SEC, failed to match billing rates in client contracts, billing histories, and other documents with those entered into its computer systems for new fees. Citigroup also collected fees even though client accounts were inactive. The affected clients have been reimbursed. Citigroup consented to the SEC's order and agreed to improve its fee-billing and books-and-records practices. The firm will pay a $14.3 million penalty and $800,000 in interest and give up $3.2 million in excess fees collected due to the missing contracts

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