Bank of America and Citigroup Lead Title Race for Banks with Most Fraud Violations

Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Promises can be hard to keep. Just ask Citigroup and Bank of America.
The two behemoths of banking have repeatedly claimed that they would stop defrauding customers, after having been busted multiple times by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Yet they continue to do so because it is apparently more cost-efficient to pay fines and penalties than it is to play fairly.
An analysis by The New York Times of SEC enforcement actions over the past 15 years found that BofA and Citigroup each had broken antifraud laws eight times. Behind them were Merrill Lynch (now part of BofA) and UBS, each with seven violations.
A total of 19 institutions had committed fraud at least twice, but SEC enforcement of pledges to stop committing fraud is weak to nonexistent. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) put it this way: “It’s like a cop giving out warnings instead of giving tickets. It’s a green light to operate the same way without a lot of fear that the boom is going to be lowered on you.”
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff

U.S. Government Sues UBS for $900 Million, Charging Mortgage Fraud (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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