U.S. Markets

SEC fines UBS $3.5 million for overcharging mutual fund customers

FILE PHOTO - The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen on a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

(Reuters) - UBS AG UBSG.S will pay a $3.5 million civil fine to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that it overcharged customers on mutual funds, the regulator said on Friday.

The accord resolves charges that from January 2010 to June 2015, UBS Financial Services Inc failed to provide sales charge waivers or offer lower-cost shares that retirement plan and charitable organization customers were entitled to, and did not disclose it would make more money by selling costlier shares.

UBS has reimbursed $18.5 million to customers holding 15,250 accounts that were overcharged, and converted eligible customers to the lowest-cost shares possible.

The Swiss bank will also try to locate 970 customers who have yet to cash or deposit their payments, or who have moved, the SEC said.

UBS did not admit or deny wrongdoing. A spokesman said in a statement that UBS was pleased to settle, and had largely completed the process of fully reimbursing eligible customers late last year.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Richard Chang