Credit Suisse is fined $9 million in U.S. over research conflicts, customer safeguards

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) -A U.S. regulator on Thursday fined a unit of Credit Suisse Group AG $9 million for violating multiple laws and rules protecting investors, including ones involving potential conflicts of interest and the safeguarding of customer funds.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said the Swiss bank published more than 20,000 research reports between 2006 and 2017 that contained inaccurate disclosures about potential conflicts.

It said about 6,400 reports omitted required disclosures, including that the companies had been clients in the last year or were expected to hire Credit Suisse for investment banking in the next three months.

FINRA said Credit Suisse also failed to maintain possession or control of billions of dollars of margin securities it carried for customers, or accurately calculate how much cash or securities it needed to keep in a special customer reserve.

It will also certify it has implemented procedures to comply with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule designed to safeguard customer cash and securities.

The settling unit, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, did not admit or deny wrongdoing.

Credit Suisse said it cooperated with FINRA, was pleased to settle, and has addressed the underlying issues, which it said “primarily concern coding errors in Credit Suisse systems.”

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Mark Porter)