FINRA fines Wells Fargo, others $14 million for records' changeable format


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said it fined several Wells Fargo & Co businesses, RBC Capital Markets, LPL Financial and others a combined $14.4 million on Wednesday for record-keeping problems that may have allowed company and customer documents to be altered.

The securities industry's self-regulator found that the firms failed to keep hundreds of millions of electronic documents in a "write once, read many" format, which would have made it impossible to alter or destroy records after they were written.

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The firms agreed to the fines but neither admitted nor denied the charges.

FINRA did not say documents had been changed but said the records were "pivotal to the firms' brokerage businesses."

The regulator fined Wells Fargo's securities, prime brokerage, brokerage and independent wealth management businesses. It also named RBS Securities, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Georgeson Securities Corp and PNC Capital Markets.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Elsie Wilkinson said the firm took record-keeping compliance seriously.

"We self-reported these issues to FINRA and continue to remediate as agreed," Wilkinson said in an emailed statement.

RBC, LPL and the other companies named did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)