Barclays to pay $97M over claim of overcharging clients

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Barclays Capital will pay more than $97 million after being accused of overcharging clients for financial advice and investment management, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Wednesday.

The England-based bank agreed to settle three sets of violations with the SEC for charging customers nearly $50 million in excess fees for financial advisory and portfolio management services.

The SEC order alleges that two Barclays advisory programs charged for safeguards the bank never implemented. The bank also allegedly overbilled 63 brokerage customers by pointing them toward more expensive stock options than necessary. More than 22,000 other customers also paid excessive fees due to miscalculations and billing errors, the SEC alleged.

Barclays will pay roughly $50 million to reimburse affected customers, and plus $13 million in interest and a $30 million penalty.

“Barclays failed to ensure that clients were receiving the services they were paying for,” said 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.”