Stifel, Nicolaus & Company Incorporated agreed to resolve charges brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority that, from at least 1999 through November 2013, it engaged in improper practices related to certain of its Customer Reserve Account calculations. Stifel settled FINRA’s allegations by agreeing to pay a fine of US $750,000. (Under rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, broker-dealers that receive customer funds or securities are required to open and maintain a special account for the benefit of customers, known as a Customer Reserve Account. This is to ensure there are sufficient funds to pay customers in case of a BD insolvency. As part of these rules, BDs generally must calculate as of each Friday close of business the amount by which total credits exceed total debits and ensure that at least this amount is deposited in the Customer Reserve Account by one hour after the opening of banking business two business days later (e.g., ordinarily Tuesday).) According to FINRA, from at least 1999 to June 2012, during one five-week period, Stifel used customer-owned securities, as permitted, as collateral for bank loans obtained by the firm. However, prior to performing its reserve computation as of Friday, the firm substituted these loans for new loans secured by firm-owned collateral. This potentially reduced the amount Stifel was required to deposit in the Customer Reserve Account, although only on one occasion would Stifel have been required to deposit additional funds (US $36 million) had the substitution not been made, acknowledged FINRA. In addition, claimed FINRA, Stifel, from March 15 to November 15, 2013, also incorrectly calculated its Proprietary Accounts of Introducing Brokers and Dealers’ reserve account and Customer Reserve Account deposit requirements because of improper treatment of various cash and securities balances in the accounts of an affiliated introducing broker. (A PAIB reserve computation is similar to the customer reserve computation, but if credits exceed debits, a BD is required to deposit that amount in a separate PAIB reserve account for the benefit of brokers and dealers.) FINRA said that Stifel’s deficiencies occurred “in part, as a result of [the firm’s] failure to establish and maintain reasonable supervisory systems and procedures” designed to detect the relevant alleged violations.