The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined Citigroup Global Markets $725,000 for failing to disclose certain conflicts of interest in its research reports and in public appearances by its research analysts.
The fine relates to reports published between January 2007 and March 2010, in which the firm did not make required disclosures about commercial relationships, FINRA says. Examples of such relationships are where Citigroup or one of its affiliates managed or co-managed public securities offerings for, received investment banking revenues or other revenues from, made a market in securities or had a 1 per cent or greater beneficial ownership in another firm.
The Commission claims that the failures at Citigroup resulted from an inaccurate database which the firm used to identify conflicts of interest, and from the lack of a reasonable supervisory procedure governing this.
"Citigroup failed to make required conflict of interest disclosures which prevented investors from being aware of potential biases in its research recommendations. Firms need to provide investors with full and accurate information so they will be able to take it into consideration before making an investment decision," said Brad Bennett, executive vice president and chief of enforcement at the regulatory body.