Morgan Stanley nears deal to pay $200M-$300M to settle trading probe

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By Dan Sears

Morgan Stanley is close to an agreement to pay $200 million to $300 million to settle a US investigation into its employees’ handling of big stock sales, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

The penalty will be divided between the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission and would not include any criminal charges against the bank, the report said citing people with knowledge of the situation.

The bank had disclosed in May it was in discussions with the SEC and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York to resolve the probe.


Morgan Stanley headquarters
The penalty will be divided between the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission and would not include any criminal charges against the bank. AP

Wall Street sign
The probe was looking into employees’ handling of big stock sales. REUTERS

Block trading tends to increase during times of volatility as institutional investors re-balance their portfolios.

Broker-dealers frequently buy and sell blocks of shares, either on behalf of clients or as part of a hedging strategy, which are large enough to move a company’s share price.

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