Merrill Lynch fined $26 million over suspicious transactions
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have censured Merrill Lynch and slapped it with penalties totaling $26 million over its anti-money-laundering policies and procedures.
The SEC and Finra, which each fined the firm $13 million, said that Merrill Lynch had anti-money laundering policies and procedures in place from 2011 to 2015 that were "not reasonably designed to account for the additional risk associated with the additional services offered by certain of its retail brokerage accounts."
In a cease-and-desist order, the SEC said that Merrill Lynch failed to adequately monitor for, detect, and report certain suspicious activity related to transactions or patterns of transactions in its customers' accounts.
The SEC said the firm has taken many steps to remedy its shortcomings in this area.