US judge rules against altering legislation governing analyst and investor relations

22 March 2010

A judge has ruled against changing a piece of legislation from 2003 preventing collusion between investment bankers and research analysts.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which formed the rules in collaboration with 12 investment banks, called for their abolition but the proposals were rejected by a judge in New York.

Judge William Pauley was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying: “The parties' proposed modification would deconstruct the firewall between research analysts and investment bankers erected by the parties when they settled these actions.”

He added that approving the SEC’s request would be contrary to the public interest.

The rules were initially created after an investigation found that some analysts were promoting the stocks of firms they did business with rather than remaining independent.

Under the terms of the 2003 legislation, a compliance officer is required to be present at all times during any communication between analysts and financial service providers.

Regulators and banks decided that the rules would be up for review five years after they were implemented.

By Jim Ottewill

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