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Barclays to pay US$97m for overcharging investors

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British banking giant Barclays will pay US$97 million, including a US$30 million penalty and US$13.8 million in interest, into a fund to reimburse and compensate investors.

[WASHINGTON] British banking giant Barclays has agreed to repay nearly US$100 million to investment clients it overcharged for services, US financial regulators said Wednesday.

The bank overbilled investment clients by nearly US$50 million, US Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement.

"Barclays failed to ensure that clients were receiving the services they were paying for," said C Dabney O'Riordan, co-chief of the SEC Asset Management Unit.

The bank will pay US$97 million, including a US$30 million penalty and US$13.8 million in interest, into a fund to reimburse and compensate investors.

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Some 2,000 clients paid for due diligence and monitoring services that were not performed as advertised, while 63 others paid excess mutual fund sales charges after the bank needlessly recommended more expensive share classes, the SEC said in a statement.

An additional 22,138 accounts suffered billing errors.

Barclays has neither admitted nor denied the allegations, according to the SEC. Formal admission of guilt can expose companies to damaging investor lawsuits and the SEC rarely requires firms to admit wrongdoing.

The news came as the bank's chief executive Jes Staley apologised to investors earlier in the day during the company's annual meeting for attempting to unmask a whistleblower in another controversy within the bank.

Barclays revealed last month that Mr Staley was under investigation by regulators and faced a "very significant" pay cut over the incident.

AFP

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