The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) once again has forced Citigroup to pay at least $11.5 million in fines and restitution due to claims that it displayed the wrong research ratings on more than 1,800 stocks. On Thursday, FINRA stated that Citigroup Global Markets Inc. showed incorrect ratings such as “buy” instead of “sell” to brokers, customers and supervisors on 38% of the equities covered by its research department from February 2011 until December 2015. FINRA fined the company $5.5 million over the charges and ordered it to pay at least $6 million to customers. Citigroup allegedly failed to timely fix the wrongly displayed ratings, despite numerous red flags. Because of this, brokers solicited thousands of transactions and negligently made inaccurate statements premised on wrong ratings, and many customers owned stocks with “sell” ratings despite a prohibition on such ownership.
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