Stock ratings are offered by many investment banking groups as a simple way for investors to judge the value of a stock or security. In addition to rating a value of a security, stock ratings typically provide an answer to the question all investors ask: Is it time to buy or sell?
In the case of the recent Citigroup fiasco, investors got mixed messages from the investment bank.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently slapped Citigroup with $11.5 million in fines for providing investors with erroneous stock ratings. FINRA’s sanctions find that the investment bank’s faulty stock ratings go back four years. In addition to $5.5 million in fines, Citigroup must also pay out at least $6 million to investors as compensation for investment losses.