Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and other banks near $1 billion settlement over merchants’ use of banned messaging apps


WASHINGTON — Many of Wall Street’s biggest banks are set to agree to pay up to $200 million each and admit their employees’ use of personal messaging apps such as WhatsApp violated requirements regulations, according to people familiar with the matter.

The total fines will likely top $1 billion, the people said, and will be announced by the end of September. The list of banks willing to pay $200 million each includes Bank of America Corp. BAC,
Barclays PLC BCS,
Citigroup Inc. C,
Deutsche Bank AG DB,
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.GS,
and Morgan Stanley MS,
and UBS Group AG UBS,
people said. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. JEF,
and Nomura Holdings Inc. NMR,
are close to reaching deals with regulators but will pay lower fines, reflecting their smaller size, the people said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission plan to announce the deals with the banks by September 30, the end of the government’s current fiscal year. This would place the penalties in the government’s annual enforcement statistics.

SEC and CFTC spokespersons declined to comment. Bank spokespersons declined to comment. A UBS spokesperson could not be reached.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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