December 28, 2013 / 1:40 AM / in 4 years

Wells Fargo ordered to buy back securities worth $94 million

(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

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