Wells Fargo ordered to buy back securities worth $94 million

Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:38pm EST

A customer enters the Wells Fargo bank branch in Golden, Colorado October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A customer enters the Wells Fargo bank branch in Golden, Colorado October 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - An arbitration panel has ordered Wells Fargo & Co's (WFC.N) brokerage unit to buy back about $94 million of auction-rate securities from investors.

The San Francisco-based bank's brokerage unit was ordered to pay at par value to investors including James Cohen and a family trust for the securities, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel said in an award dated December 24. (link.reuters.com/bax65v)

The Cohen family accused Wells Fargo Advisors of fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty related to investments in municipal auction-rate securities or MARS.

The family sought damages of $20 million for investments in MARS starting in March 2008, which the panel denied.

A Wells Fargo spokesman Tony Mattera told Reuters the bank was disappointed by the decision and was reviewing it. A lawyer for the Cohens wasn't available for comment.

(Reporting by Varun Aggarwal and Narottam Medhora in Bangalore; Editing by Ken Wills)

FILED UNDER: