DALLAS — UBS Securities will repurchase up to $200 million of auction-rate securities from investors across the country not covered in investment bank’s initial agreement with state and federal regulators, according to the Texas State Securities Board.
The consent order announced Thursday concludes a national settlement with UBS over its sale of auction-rate securities before the ARS market collapsed in 2008. Regulators accused the firms of misrepresenting the debt as safe and liquid alternatives to cash.
UBS will continue to repurchase around $22 billion of ARS from investors across the country — including up to $2.7 billion from Texas investors. The firm will also pay a fine of $6.6 million to the Texas general fund by March 12.
The new investors included in the consent order were left out of the initial settlement in August 2008, Texas regulators said. They were not covered because UBS had earlieragreed to buy back securities only from investors who held them in accounts at the bank. The consent order covers non-institutional investors who purchased auction-rate securities from UBS but moved their accounts from UBS before Feb. 13, 2008.
“Today’s consent order is an important step in ensuring that as many investors as possible are made whole in their ARS investments,” Texas securities commissioner Denise Voigt Crawford said. “UBS was one of many big financial firms that routinely misled its clients about the risks of the ARS market.”
The UBS case was part of a cooperative investigation into the ARS market by state securities regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission. State securities regulators alleged that UBS knew of the impending collapse of the ARS market in early 2008 but took no steps to protect its clients and continued to sell the securities.