Barclays pays $97m to settle SEC claim that it overbilled clients

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday that Barclays will pay more than $97m to resolve allegations that it overbilled clients to the tune of nearly $50m.

The overcharging allegations concern the bank’s US wealth management business, which was sold with about $56bn of client assets to Stifel Financial in 2015.

The SEC’s order covers three sets of alleged violations. The first involves two Barclays advisory programmes that the SEC said charged more than 2,000 clients fees for due diligence and monitoring third-party investment managers and strategies, when those services were not performed as promised.

The second encompassed Barclays’ collection of “excessive” mutual-fund sales charges or fees from more than 60 brokerage clients, the SEC said.

And the third involved miscalculations and billing errors that resulted in more than 22,000 accounts overpaying fees to the bank, according to the SEC.

In resolving the action, Barclays did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings. The bank declined to comment.

C. Dabney O’Riordan, co-chief of the SEC enforcement division’s asset management unit, said in a statement:

Barclays failed to ensure that clients were receiving the services they were paying for. Each set of clients who were harmed are being refunded through the settlement.

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