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Harry Cassin
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FINRA fines Deutsche Bank $6 million for missing and late trade info

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. paid a $6 million fine for failing to provide complete and accurate trade data to FINRA and the SEC.

It was the biggest fine the Wall Street regulator has imposed for so-called blue sheet violations.

As part of the settlement, Deutsche Bank agreed to retain an independent consultant to improve the way it keeps and produces trade data.

FINRA — the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority — and the SEC routinely ask for blue sheets to help spot market manipulation and insider trading.

Federal securities laws and FINRA rules require firms to provide accurate blue sheets electronically on request. The information is supposed to include the name of the security, trade date, price, share quantity, customer name, and whether it was a buy, sale, or short sale.

FINRA found that from at least 2008, Deutsche Bank’s blue sheet system often failed. Programming errors “caused the firm to submit thousands of blue sheets to regulators that misreported or omitted critical information on over 1 million trades,” FINRA said.

Many of Deutsche Bank’s blue sheet submissions were late. Firms typically have 10 business days to respond to a blue sheet request.

Between January 2014 and August 2015, about 40 percent of Deutsche Bank’s blue sheets were filed past the deadline.

From July to August 2015, more than 90 percent of Deutsche Bank’s blue sheet submissions were late.

Deutsche Bank neither admitted nor denied the charges but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.

FINRA is the biggest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States.

In September last year, the SEC fined Credit Suisse’s U.S. unit $4.25 million for blue sheet problems. Also last year, FINRA fined a Macquarie unit $2.95 million for inaccurate blue sheet data.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He’ll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016

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