BlackRock expresses ‘regret’ at £9.5m FSA fine
BlackRock has expressed its “regret” at its failure to adequately protect client money which led to the FSA imposing a £9.5m fine on the firm.
In an FSA notice published this morning the watchdog highlighted the departure of key compliance staff following BlackRock’s September 2006 acquisition of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers as a key contributor to the rule breaches.
In a statement, BlackRock said: “Our fiduciary commitment to our clients is at the heart of our business. That is why when we identified this issue through an internal review and reported it to the FSA, we took steps to ensure we have what the FSA now describes as robust systems and controls relating to client money protection.
“These steps include establishing a dedicated client money team, led by a managing director responsible for oversight of our client money obligations.
“As the FSA itself noted, the situation that led to this settlement was not deliberate and no clients suffered any losses as a result of the error.
“Still, we regret this instance where our UK procedures regarding money market deposits for a number of our clients were not consistent with applicable standards, and we are pleased to have fully resolved this matter with the FSA and that the matter is now closed.”