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RBC unit to pay $30.4M to settle SEC charges

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A unit of the Royal Bank of Canada (RY-T) will pay $30.4 million US to settle civil charges by U.S. securities regulators alleging the bank sold unsuitable complex financial products to five Wisconsin school districts.

The administrative order by the Securities and Exchange Commission against the RBC Capital Markets LLC marks the latest high-profile case by the SEC as it continues to work through cases tied to the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

According to the SEC, RBC Capital Markets sold the school districts $200 million worth of credit-linked notes tied to the performance of collateralized debt obligations.

The agency claims the bank went ahead with the deal even though the products were not suitable for less sophisticated investors. The bank also allegedly failed in its marketing materials to disclose the major risks.

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