Financial News

  • 31 December 2013, 11:08

Barclays Fined £2.3m For 'Records Failure'

Barclays has been fined $3.75m (£2.3m) by a US regulator over an alleged decade-long failure to properly keep electronic records, emails and instant messages.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) said that from 2002 to April 2012, Barclays failed to preserve order data, trade confirmations, account records and other information in a format that prevented their alteration or erasure, known as "Write-Once, Read-Many" or "WORM."

It also said Barclays failed to properly retain attachments to some Bloomberg emails from May 2007 to May 2010, and failed to properly retain about 3.3 million Bloomberg instant messages from October 2008 to May 2010.

FINRA said that once Barclays' system encountered an attachment to an instant message that it had processed earlier on a given day, it would stop accepting instant messages for that day.

"Ensuring the integrity, accuracy and accessibility of electronic books and records is essential to a firm's ability to meet its compliance obligations," FINRA enforcement chief Brad Bennett said in a statement.

Barclays did not admit or deny wrongdoing but agreed to a censure and the entry of FINRA's findings.

A spokeswoman for the British bank declined to comment.

Barclays - along with its major UK counterparts - has been no stranger to financial penalties over its past behaviour.

It was recently spared a penalty for its role in the widespread rigging of benchmark euro rates because it blew the whistle on what was happening but it was previously fined £290m by regulators following an earlier probe into the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

Barclays has set aside billions of pounds to cover the costs of settling the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal while it is also subject to a separate probe by the Financial Conduct Authority and other world regulators into the alleged manipulation of foreign currency markets.

In November, the former regulator charged with boosting compliance at Barclays, Sir Hector Sants, quit his post as a result of a stress-related illness.

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