Washington - Barclays and Credit Suisse will pay US$154.3 million (S$220 million) combined to settle charges that they violated federal securities laws over their so-called "dark pools," the US Securities and Exchange Commission said Sunday.
They agreed to record individual settlements for operating alternative trading systems, known as "dark pools," the SEC said in a statement.
Barclays admitted wrongdoing and will pay a total of US$70 million, while Credit Suisse will pay a total of US$84.3 million.
Dark pools allow clients to trade large volumes of shares anonymously with prices posted only after the transaction is finished, avoiding the open reporting of ongoing bid and offer prices required on public exchanges.
"Dark pools have a significant role in today's equity marketplace and the firms that run these venues must ensure that they do not make misstatements to subscribers about their material operations," said Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC's Enforcement Division.
"These largest-ever penalties imposed in SEC cases involving two of the largest ATSs show that firms pay a steep price when they mislead subscribers."
Regulators say more oversight is needed for trading venues like dark pools, which have captured an increased share of overall share trading in recent years.