Government Continues Squeeze on Firms, Imposing $7.8B in Penalties in First Quarter

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By Yin Wilczek

May 13 — Government penalties against financial institutions continue to rise dramatically, with more than $7.8 billion imposed in the first quarter of this year, an independent research group said.

The penalty amount represents a 73 percent increase compared to the $4.5 billion in fines that were assessed in the fourth quarter of 2014, the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation (CCMR) said in a May 12 quarterly update.

“The data show that financial institutions in the U.S. continue to face historically unprecedented public financial penalties,” the group said.

Billion-Dollar Fines 

The CCMR also found that four firms faced penalties of more than $1 billion in the first quarter:

• Deutsche Bank ($2.1 billion);

• Morgan Stanley ($2.6 billion);

• Standard & Poor's ($1.4 billion); and

• Commerzbank ($1.4 billion).


The CCMR's data include settlements from class actions brought by the government, such as state attorneys general, and regulatory penalties imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other regulators.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yin Wilczek in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan Tuck at

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