Regions Financial, the parent company of Middle Tennessee's biggest deposit holder, today said it has settled for $200 million a number of investigations into the marketing and pricing of some of its mutual funds during the real estate crash. That in turn has cleared the way for Goldman Sachs to help it "explore potential strategic alternatives" for the brokerage and investment bank it acquired a decade ago.
Regions President and CEO Grayson Hall said, “Morgan Keegan has been a subsidiary of Regions since 2001 and is a leading brokerage and investment banking firm based in the Southeast and a very valuable franchise. However, the resolution of this legacy regulatory matter gives Regions greater flexibility with respect to the Morgan Keegan franchise and the ability to explore opportunities that are consistent with our strategic and capital planning initiatives. Regions is committed to continuing to provide a full range of products and services seamlessly to its customers, including through a continuing relationship with Morgan Keegan.”
SEE ALSO: FINRA's more detailed take on the Regions funds settlement
A unit of Regions Bank has been fined after investing all of a client's portfolio in a hedge fund that channeled money to Bernard L. Madoff Securities, the fund controlled by convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. An arbitration panel found that the unit — Morgan Keegan — didn't perform adequate due diligence on the feeder fund, Greenwich Sentry LP. Now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is requring Morgan Keegan to repay the entire $200,000 invested by clients Jeffrey and Marisel Lieberman, plus 6 percent annual interest, as well as $50,000 in punitive damages and $14,000 in expert witness fees.