Wall Street banks to pay $1.1bn over messaging violations

Sixteen Wall Street banks and brokers including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays have agreed to pay more than $1.1bn in fines over charges of “widespread and longstanding failures” in their record-keeping practices, the US securities regulator said.

The institutions admitted to violating federal record-keeping requirements, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said after an investigation uncovered “pervasive off-channel communications”.

“Finance, ultimately, depends on trust. By failing to honour their record-keeping and books-and-records obligations, the market participants we have charged today have failed to maintain that trust,” Gary Gensler, SEC chair, said in a statement announcing the charges and penalties on Tuesday.

The investigation, which became public last year, has shaken Wall Street, costing some bankers their jobs and pushed lenders to crack down on unauthorised use of messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Signal.

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