State Street has agreed to pay $167.4 million in disgorgement and penalties to the SEC, a $155 million penalty to the Department of Justice, and at least $60 million to ERISA plan clients in an agreement with the Department of Labor.
Under the terms of the agreement, the SEC will issue its order instituting the settled administrative proceeding only after a federal court approves State Street’s proposed settlement with private plaintiffs in pending securities class action lawsuits concerning its pricing of foreign currency exchange trades. State Street has agreed to admit certain findings in the SEC’s order.
“State Street misled custody clients about how it priced their trades and tucked its hidden markups into a corner where they were unlikely to notice,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Financial institutions cannot mislead their customers about their trading costs.”
Paul G. Levenson, Director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office, added, “Mutual funds and other registered investment companies should not face overreaching by the very banks hired to safeguard their assets.”
The SEC’s order will find that State Street willfully violated Section 34(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and caused violations of Section 31(a) of the Investment Company Act and Rule 31a-1(b) by providing its registered investment company custody clients with trade confirmations and monthly transaction reports that were materially misleading in light of the representations it made about how it priced foreign currency exchange transactions. State Street will be required to pay $75 million in disgorgement plus $17.4 million in interest to harmed clients as well as a $75 million penalty.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Sue Curtin, Cynthia Storer Baran, Andrew Palid, Deena Bernstein and Celia Moore of the Boston Regional Office, and Stuart Jackson of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Department of Labor.