page contents
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Citibank to Pay More Than $38 Million for Improper Handling of ADRs

SEC Presss Release

Citibank to Pay More Than $38 Million for Improper Handling of ADRs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2018-255

Washington D.C., Nov. 7, 2018 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Citibank N.A. has agreed to pay $38.7 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).

ADRs – U.S. securities that represent foreign shares of a foreign company – require a corresponding number of foreign shares to be held in custody at a depositary bank. The practice of “pre-release” allows ADRs to be issued without the deposit of foreign shares provided brokers receiving them have an agreement with a depositary bank and the broker or its customer owns the number of foreign shares that corresponds to the number of shares the ADR represents.

The SEC found that Citibank improperly provided ADRs to brokers in thousands of pre-release transactions when neither the broker nor its customers had the foreign shares needed to support those new ADRs. Such practices resulted in inflating the total number of a foreign issuer’s tradeable securities, which resulted in abusive practices like inappropriate short selling and dividend arbitrage that should not have been occurring.

This is the second action against a depositary bank and sixth action against a bank or broker resulting from the SEC’s ongoing investigation into abusive ADR pre-release practices. Information about ADRs is available in an SEC Investor Bulletin.

“Our charges against Citibank are the latest in our ongoing investigative effort to hold accountable Wall Street institutions that participated in an industry-wide fraud,” said Sanjay Wadhwa, Senior Associate Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “Our investigation into these practices has revealed that banks and brokerage firms profited while ADR holders were unaware of how the market was being abused.”

Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Citibank agreed to pay more than $20.9 million in disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus $4.2 million in prejudgment interest and a $13.5 million penalty for a total of more than $38.7 million. The SEC’s order acknowledges Citibank’s remedial acts and cooperation in the investigation.

The SEC’s continuing industry-wide investigation is being conducted by Andrew Dean, Joseph P. Ceglio, William Martin, Elzbieta Wraga, Philip Fortino, Richard Hong, and Adam Grace of the New York Regional Office, and the case is being supervised by Mr. Wadhwa.

###
Source:

SEC.gov | Citibank to Pay More Than $38 Million for Improper Handling of ADRs

The SEC found that Citibank improperly provided ADRs to brokers in thousands of pre-release transactions when neither the broker nor its customers had the foreign shares needed to support those new ADRs. Such practices resulted in inflating the total number of a foreign issuer’s tradeable securities, which resulted in abusive practices like inappropriate short selling and dividend arbitrage that should not have been occurring.

Check Also

Mergers and Acquisitions

Merck to Acquire Immune Design; Acquisition Bolsters Capabilities in Vaccine Development for Infectious Diseases and Cancer

“Scientists at Immune Design have established a unique portfolio of approaches to cancer immunization and adjuvant systems designed to enhance the ability of a vaccine to protect against infection, which could meaningfully improve vaccine development," said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “This acquisition builds upon Merck’s industry-leading programs that harness the power of the immune system to prevent and treat disease.”

COURT ORDERS $1 BILLION JUDGMENT AGAINST OPERATORS OF WOODBRIDGE PONZI SCHEME TARGETING RETAIL INVESTORS

"This resolution accomplishes one of the SEC's core missions to protect retail investors," said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "Mr. Shapiro and other defendants will be held accountable and required to pay substantial penalties for their misconduct." "Our complaint charged that when Woodbridge's fictitious business model collapsed, the company stopped paying investors and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection," said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC's Miami Regional Office. "The settlement provides for the return of significant funds to investors."

SEC Charges Cognizant and Two Former Executives With FCPA Violations

“Bribery to further corporate goals is an illusory path to long-term success. While always the wrong choice, it is particularly egregious when senior executives chart that course for those they lead, as our complaint alleges here. We are committed to holding them accountable for their actions,” said Charles E. Cain, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s FCPA Unit.

FDA Authorizes First Interoperable Insulin Pump Intended to Allow Patients to Customize Treatment Through their Individual Diabetes Management Devices

“Diabetes is a complicated disease that requires close monitoring and carefully tailored treatments. We’ve heard from the patient community that having the ability to customize their own diabetes management devices is important to them. Advances in digital health make more tailored approaches to diabetes care possible,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “The marketing authorization of the first ACE insulin pump intended for interoperable use has the potential to aid patients who seek more individualized diabetes therapy systems and opens the door for developers of future connected diabetes devices to get other safe and effective products to patients more efficiently. Because the FDA’s action creates a new regulatory classification, future ACE insulin pumps will be able to go through the more efficient 510(k) review process, helping to advance this innovative technology. We’re committed to advancing new ways to accelerate the development of innovations that can improve patient care while strengthening our pre- and post-market tools for determining the safety and effectiveness of these new technologies.

SEC Charges Four Public Companies With Longstanding ICFR Failures

According to the SEC’s orders, year after year, the four companies disclosed material weaknesses in ICFR involving certain high-risk areas of their financial statement presentation. As discussed in the SEC orders, each of the four companies took months, or years, to remediate their material weaknesses after being contacted by the SEC staff. One of the companies is still in the process of remediating its material weaknesses.

Two Advisory Firms, CEO Charged With Mutual Fund Share Class Disclosure Violations

"Advisers must be vigilant in disclosing all conflicts of interest arising from compensation received based on investment decisions made for clients," said C. Dabney O'Riordan, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Asset Management Unit. "The documents these advisers provided to clients were incorrect and investors were harmed. We are continuing our efforts to stop these violations and return money to harmed investors as quickly as possible."

Teva Pharmaceutical Stock (TEVA) Trading Higher Today on FDA Approval of Its Seizure Drug Sabril for Adults and Pediatric Epilepsy Patients

Complex partial seizures, a common type of seizures, start in a specific area of the brain and can affect consciousness. Typically, complex partial seizures last between 30 and 90 seconds, and are often followed by a period of disorientation, confusion and/or fatigue.

%d bloggers like this: