The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined 13 brokerage firms, including Charles Schwab, J.P. Morgan, Oppenheimer, TD Ameritrade, and UBS Financial, for violating a rule that is meant to protect investors from improper sales of high-risk Puerto Rican municipal bonds. The fines range from $54,000 to $130,000.
The SEC sanctions are the first under the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) Rule G-15(f), which establishes the minimum denomination requirement for the sales of municipal bonds. The minimum denomination amounts are the least amount of a given municipal bond that a broker dealer is permitted to sell to an investor in one transaction. The more risky the bond, the higher the minimum. This is meant to ensure that the bond investments are suited to the appropriate investor. Continue reading →