Magazine article Information Management

Don't Hit That Delete Button! (Up Front: News, Trends & Analysis)

Magazine article Information Management

Don't Hit That Delete Button! (Up Front: News, Trends & Analysis)

Article excerpt

If your inbox is harboring incriminating e-mails, do not delete them.

Five Wall Street investment firms recently agreed to pay $1.65 million each to settle charges that they failed to properly retain e-mail messages requested by regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) levied the fines against Deutsche Bank Securities, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, the Salomon Smith Barney unit of Citigroup, and U.S. Bancorp's Piper Jaffray.

The fines are separate from the payments that a dozen firms likely will make as part of a settlement over charges that they issued conflicting stock reports. Regulators requested the e-mails as part of that investigation. As part of the settlement, the firms also promised to review their recordkeeping procedures to ensure compliance with information management statutes and regulations.

Federal securities laws require brokerage firms to preserve e-mails relating to a firm's business for three years. The messages must be maintained "in an accessible place" for two years after being written. …

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