Morgan Stanley issued $300,000 fine for Segregated Client Fund failures

The CFTC today issued an order requiring a unit of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to pay a $300,000 civil monetary penalty for failing to hold sufficient U.S. Dollars in segregated accounts in the United States to meet all of its U.S. Dollar obligations to cleared swaps customers.

The Order also finds that the firm failed to implement adequate procedures and requires Morgan Stanley to cease and desist from violating CFTC Regulations, as charged.

The Order recognizes that Morgan Stanley promptly reported the deficiencies to the CFTC, implemented corrective procedures, and cooperated with the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement in its investigation.

Aitan Goelman, the CFTC’s Director of Enforcement, commented:

Since passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFTC has implemented rules to protect swaps customers and market participants, including rules for protection of cleared swaps customer collateral. This action demonstrates that the Division of Enforcement will investigate and pursue violations of these important rules of the road in the swaps market.

As set forth in the Order, on numerous days from March 12, 2013 to March 7, 2014, Morgan Stanley failed to hold sufficient U.S. Dollars in segregated accounts in the United States to meet all U.S. Dollar obligations to the firm’s cleared swaps customers, in violation of CFTC Regulation 22.9. On those days, Morgan Stanley held the amount of the U.S. Dollar deficits in Euros and other currencies, rather than in U.S. Dollars, according to the Order. Because Morgan Stanley held the amount of the U.S. Dollar deficits in other currencies, it did not have a shortfall in overall cleared swaps customer collateral. As the Order finds, however, the size of Morgan Stanley’s U.S. Dollar deficits ranged from approximately $5 million to approximately $265 million, at times representing more than 10 percent of the amount that the firm was obligated to maintain in U.S. Dollars for cleared swaps customers.

Additionally, the Order finds that from November 8, 2012 to on or about April 8, 2014, Morgan Stanley did not have in place adequate procedures to comply with the currency denomination requirements for cleared swaps customer collateral and did not train and supervise its personnel to ensure compliance with CFTC Regulation 22.9. Morgan Stanley thereby failed to supervise diligently its officers, employees, and agents and did not have sufficient procedures in place to detect and deter the violations found herein, in violation of Regulation 166.3, the Order finds.

To see the official CFTC announcement click here.

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Morgan Stanley issued $300,000 fine for Segregated Client Fund failures


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