More Fired Over Mutual Funds Probes

The number of casualties as a result of the probes into US mutual funds trading practices continues to grow. Two firms last week added to the number of staff who have resigned or been fired in connection with the affair.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Citigroup unit Smith Barney has confirmed four brokers were fired last week for 'inappropriate behaviour related to market timing'. The dismissals resulted from the firm's internal probe into its fund trading operations. Earlier this month the unit fired another broker for allegedly cancelling mutual-funds orders after the market closed.

BBC News reports that Putnam, the fifth largest mutual funds business in the US, has also dismissed four fund managers for improper trading. They are said to have engaged in short-term trading of funds, a practice that is not illegal, but does breach industry codes.

Finally, The New York Times reports that, according to unnamed 'people briefed on the matter', the New York state Attorney General's office and US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating former brokers who worked at Prudential Securities after allegations of improper mutual fund trading practices. Prudential dismissed 12 brokers and managers from its Boston and New York offices last month.

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