The Washington Post reports that any fines paid by the US securities industry as a result of the probes into so-called biased or overly optimistic stock research practices could well end up in a restitution fund to compensate investors who lost out as a result of the industry's alleged actions. In the meantime, staff won't have to wait long to find out exactly how much their own firm is required to pay up as the results of the negotiations between the investment banks and regulators are thought likely to be made known in a matter of days.
According to CBS MarketWatch, the banks have been put into three groups, depending on the extent of their perceived culpability.
Top of the list is thought likely to be Citigroup, tipped to be fined up to $500m. Next is Credit Suisse First Boston. The firm may be penalized in the region of $200m.
The second tier is thought likely to include firms like Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank. Fines of around $75m are expected to be imposed on second-tier firms. Goldman Sachs has already been asked to pay a fine of $75m by the regulators.
Finally, the least culpable firms on whom regulators were unable to find much evidence of alleged wrongdoing. Morgan Stanley is thought likely to be in this category and the firms included here will probably get away with a fine of around $60m.