Switzerlandâ€™s biggest bank, UBS, has fired two U.S.-based brokers and suspended nine more for violating its mutual fund trading rules meant to protect investors.
UBS SPOKESMAN Christoph Meier said Tuesday the bank had informed U.S. regulatory authorities of the move on Monday. He declined to name the two brokers who were fired, and said the other nine would likely be allowed to return to work in a few weeks.
Meier said an internal review conducted into brokerage PaineWebber which UBS acquired in 2000 and renamed as UBS Financial Services earlier this year had revealed the breaches in company rules.
The brokers allegedly helped customers make rapid in-and-out mutual fund trades known as timing trades. Although this wasnâ€™t illegal, it violated company policy drawn up in December 2001 to protect longer-term investors, said Meier.
A lengthening list of financial institutions and individuals have become embroiled over the past three months in continuing state and federal investigations of improper trading in the U.S. mutual fund business.