Banc of America Securities Slapped With SEC "Wells Notice"

January 2, 2004 ( - Bank of America Corp.'s securities arm revealed Friday that the US Securities and Exchange Commission might take civil action against it - possibly an injunction - relating to trading activities at the unit's San Francisco office.

Banc of America Securities said it has received a “Wells notice” from the SEC, which charged that it violated books and records retention laws by improperly storing documents relevant to an investigation and by not producing requested documents quickly enough, according to news reports.

The case deals with a November 2001 SEC inquiry, according to the unit of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, third biggest US bank. Banc of America Securities officials said they are cooperating with investigators and taking advantage of a provision in the Wells notice, which gives the subject an opportunity to present a defense to show why an action should not be brought.

Eloise Hale, a Bank of America spokeswoman, wouldn’t reveal the subject of the inquiry, or whether any personnel actions have taken place as a result, but said the inquiry has nothing to do with mutual funds.