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NYSE fines banks over voting procedures

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has fined three high-profile banks at total of $1.4 million for failing to properly handle voting procedures in corporate elections.

Subsidiaries of financial institutions UBS, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse have received fines of between $250,000 and $600,000 each as a result of what the NYSE has called "operational deficiencies and supervisory violations concerning the submission of proxy votes".

In a statement, NYSE Regulation said: "Inadequate processing and supervision of customer proxies undermine a fundamental principle of stock ownership.

"We remind member firms that they must ensure that shareholders' votes are not threatened by inattention, careless systems or insufficient reviews, and that outsourcing of the proxy function does not lessen a firm's responsibilities."

Shareholder's typically have certain voting rights when it comes to corporate ballots, and these rights need to be moved with shares as they are bought and sold or lent to others.

A complex set of rules are designed to govern this system of share ownership and voting rights, preventing more votes being cast than there are shares.