NEW YORK (Reuters) –
The Securities and Exchange Commission is in settlement talks with several large financial institutions to resolve investigations into the awarding of municipal investment contracts, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
UBS (UBSN.VX) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) are among a few firms negotiating settlements with the SEC, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The report comes after the three-year investigation led to indictments on Thursday against CDR Financial Products Inc and some of its current and former executives, for bid-rigging and fraud related to municipal bond contracts.
The charges were the first to be filed in the U.S. Justice Department's ongoing investigation into bid-rigging in the municipal bond industry.
The SEC had no immediate comment on Saturday. Officials at the Justice Department, Bank of America and UBS could not immediately be reached for comment.
Bank of America entered into a leniency agreement with the Justice Department in connection with a probe into bidding practices, the bank said in February 2007. In a leniency agreement, the Justice Department promises not to bring criminal charges in exchange for the company's information about wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Tiffany Wu and Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Eric Beech)