WASHINGTON - British banking and financial services multinational Barclays Plc has been fined $3.75 million by a US regulator over its systemic failures to preserve electronic records and certain emails and instant messages in the manner required for a period of at least 10 years. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Thursday said that at least from 2002 to 2012, Barclays failed to preserve many of its required electronic books and recordsincluding order and trade ticket data, trade confirmations, blotters, account records and other similar recordsin WORM format. The issues were widespread and included all of the firm's business areas, thus, Barclays was unable to determine whether all of its electronic books and records were maintained in an unaltered condition. FINRA also found that from May 2007 to May 2010 , Barclays failed to properly retain certain attachments to Bloomberg emails, and additionally failed to properly retain approximately 3.3 million Bloomberg instant messages from October 2008 to May 2010 . In addition to violating FINRA, SEC and NASD rules and regulations, this adversely impacted Barclay's ability to respond to requests for electronic communications in regulatory and civil matters. The regulator said that once Barclays' system encountered an attachment to an instant message that it had processed earlier on a given day, it would stop accepting instant messages for that day. "Ensuring the integrity, accuracy and accessibility of electronic books and records is essential to a firm's ability to meet its compliance obligations," FINRA enforcement chief Brad Bennett said in a statement. "The format errors in this case made it nearly impossible for Barclays to verify that these key materials remained in an unaltered condition." The regulator stated that Barclays failed to establish and maintain an adequate system and written procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with SEC , NASD , and FINRA rules and regulations, as well as to timely detect and remedy deficiencies related to those requirements. Barclays did not admit or deny wrongdoing but agreed to a censure and the entry of FINRA's findings. A spokeswoman for the British bank declined to comment.
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