By Rick Rothacker, The Charlotte Observer, N.C. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 10--Federal and state regulators on Wednesday finalized a $675 million settlement with Bank of America Corp. and merger partner FleetBoston Financial Corp. over allegations of improper mutual fund trading that sparked an industrywide probe a year and a half ago.
The agreement resolves the investigation for the Charlotte-based company, which acquired Fleet in April, but officials left open the possibility of further action against individuals involved in trading that benefited favored investors at the expense of mom-and-pop shareholders.
Completing a preliminary deal reached in March, Bank of America and Fleet will pay $320 million in restitution, $195 million in penalties and $160 million in reduced fees. The combined payout was bigger than any other mutual fund firm settlement.