Wachovia Capital Markets Settlement

Article excerpt

Wachovia Capital Markets LLC has agreed to pay $25 million to settle claims by state regulators that its research analysts issued biased coverage to help it obtain investment banking business.

The North American Securities Administrators Association announced the settlement with the unit of the Charlotte banking company Wachovia Corp. on its Web site Wednesday.

Patricia D. Struck, the association's president and the Wisconsin securities administrator, said in a press release that the settlement "is a positive step in our ongoing efforts to strengthen investor confidence and foster fairness in our capital markets."

It is related to the global settlement in which 12 other investment banks agreed to collectively pay $1.4 billion in 2003 and 2004 to address similar claims.

Wachovia Corp. spokeswoman Christy Phillips said the settlement addressed claims regarding supervision and e-mail retention and did not involve any charges of fraud, unethical business practices, or misleading research. For several years the banking company has maintained policies to reflect the industrywide reforms that came from the global settlement, she said.

The 28-month investigation was led by state securities regulators in Nebraska, North Carolina, and Virginia. …