January 25, 2011 – Broker-dealers caught unaware have paid millions in fines for failure to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s requirements to preserve books and records.

For instance, a large brokerage firm in 2006 agreed to pay a $15 million settlement for allegedly failing to produce e-mails and electronic records in a timely manner during the course of two separate SEC investigations. In 2009, the brokerage arm of a large commercial bank agreed to pay several million dollars in fines for, among other things, failure to retain electronic records pertaining to its business, following hearings before the New York Stock Exchange and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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