The SEC staff may recommend a civil action against Amsouth Bancorp
. The Birmingham, Alabama-based bank and fund advisor learned of the recommendation through a Wells notice from the SEC's Los Angeles office sent on Tuesday.
Wells notices are used by the SEC to give a target of a possible action a chance to explain its case to the regulators.
Both Amsouth Bank and Amsouth Investment Management received the Wells notice, according to an SEC filing. The notice was sent in regards to potential securities violations in the bank's mutual fund business.
Amsouth recently agreed to sell its mutual fund business to Pioneer Investments
. That sale is expected to close in September.
AmSouth officials also revealed that the action arose from the SEC's probe of Bisys Group's
fund services unit. Amsouth believes that the SEC is investigating whether Bisys used fees from Amsouth for marketing and other costs.
According to the bank, the funds directors are reviewing the SEC's allegations and may take steps to protect fund shareholders, including making payments to AmSouth funds.
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