“The firm agrees to censures and consents to the order requiring it to cease and desist from committing or causing any future violations of the registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933.” – Securities and Exchange Commission
Altogether, the SEC order requires Merrill Lynch to pay a penalty of $1.25 million and more than $154,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest from commissions and fees earned on the improper sales. In a final move, the SEC revoked Longtop’s securities registration.
Without reservation, the SEC continues its focus on private-sector gatekeepers like Merrill Lynch. The firms play a pivotal role in the functioning of the securities industry and financial market regulation. In this instance, like many other instances, Merrill Lynch and competing firms understand the inherent complexity of the capital markets. These firms have a responsibility to “police” themselves.