Barclays billed $97m for ripping off investment clients

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Barclays has landed a $97m bill from the Securities and Exchange Commission for overcharging clients on advisory services and fund sales.

The payment includes a $49.8m refund plus $13.8m in interest and a $30m penalty. An additional $3.5m will go to advisory clients who invested in third-party investment strategies that underperformed while going unmonitored.

The SEC found Barclays charged 2,000 clients for due diligence and monitoring of investment services that wasn’t be carried out as represented.

Barclays has also been caught recommending more expensive share classes to clients when cheaper options were available.

Additionally, the bank was found to have charged 22,138 clients excess fees due to miscalculations and billing errors.

“Barclays failed to ensure that clients were receiving the services they were paying for,” says C Dabney O’Riordan, co-chief of the SEC enforcement division’s asset management unit.  “Each set of clients who were harmed are being refunded through the settlement.”

CEO weathers stormy AGM

The settlement came as Barclays chief executive faced calls from shareholders to resign at the company’s AGM.

In April, it was revealed the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority are investigating Jes Staley and the bank after he tried to find out the author of a 2016 whistleblowing letter.

The Financial Times reports angry shareholders questioned the “moral calibre” of the bank at yesterday’s AGM and said it “beggars belief” that Staley was not aware of whisteblower procedures.

Thirteen per cent of shareholders withheld their vote for Staley’s re-election, while 2.4 per cent voted against him. Proxy adviser ISS had advised clients against voting for Staley.