Custody Bank fined £22.9m over fees

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THE City watchdog fined State Street UK £22.9m for deliberately overcharging its clients, and said the bank acted with “complete disregard” for the interests of its customers.

The fine is one of the largest dished out by the watchdog in recent years, and the latest where financial institutions have been found to put profit before the interest of their customers.

Between June 2010 and September 2011, State Street UK overcharged six clients a total of $20.2m, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said.

Those clients included large investment management firms and pension funds holding the funds and savings of retail investors. Custody banks manage cash for companies and handle back-office processing of securities and banking transactions for fund managers.

The FCA said the firm had developed and executed a deliberate strategy to charge substantial mark-ups on agreed fees. The overcharging contributed over a quarter of revenues at the business unit responsible for the failings.