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21 Jan 2015

Taffet said the arbitration panel gave serious consideration to hundreds of documents and thousands of pages of testimony in 29 hearings over eight months. Banks and brokerage firms that structured or sold auction-rate securities to retail and sophisticated corporate investors in the days leading to the financial crisis have paid more than $60 billion in fines and reimbursement since 2009. The securities were marketed as ultra-safe, short-term investments that paid returns higher than money-market funds. But the bonds had to be resold at auctions every few weeks, and those auctions began to fail in 2008, leaving investors unable to redeem the securities. Oppenheimer has taken a succession of auction-rate hits. It lost another FINRA arbitration in 2012 that required it to buy back nearly $6 million of auction-rate securities from a client. A February 2010 settlement with the New York Attorney General's office and the Massachusetts Securities Division required it to repurchase $31 million of the securities from other clients.


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