Citigroup Fined for ETF Prospectus Failures

Citigroup, Inc. has reportedly agreed to pay a $3 million fine for failing to properly deliver prospectuses to some customers.  Specifically, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Citigroup failed to deliver prospectuses to customers who bought shares in one or more of 160 exchange traded funds (ETFs) in late 2010.  It has also been said that Citi may have not delivered prospectuses related to more than 1.5 million ETF purchases between 2009 and early 2011.  Citigroup was also fined by the New York Stock Exchange in 2007 for similar issues.  FINRA, according to reports, said Citigroup failed to have proper procedures in place to supervise the process.

This is the second such snafu by a major American bank resulting in a fine this year.  Just this past September, Morgan Stanley said that it would pay for the losses incurred by customers who purchased certain mutual funds, after the bank admitted that it failed to make prospectuses for those funds available on its website.  In total, this is believed to have cost Morgan Stanley roughly $50 million.

Financial firms have significant duties to their customers – risk disclosure being one of the most important.  Transparency, including risk disclosure, is critical to the efficient functioning of the markets.  So, when major financial firms fail to fulfill their duties, meaningful fines should be imposed.  Whether or not the fines in these instances are meaningful remains up for debate.

It is the right of any and all investors who believe they may have suffered losses as a result of recommendations of their financial advisor to contact our offices to explore their legal rights and options. If you or a family member invested in exchange traded funds, contact the securities fraud lawyers at Malecki Law for a free consultation and case evaluation at (212) 943-1233.

Malecki Law takes a proactive and informed approach to the financial news of today: actively engaging in fact-finding analysis on prospective cases from around the world. Our thorough knowledge of securities law’s history and fine points makes us ideal consultants for investors who have suffered losses due to misadvice from their broker or other financial counsel.

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