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U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Reaches Settlement in E-mail Retention Proceeding

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray (Piper Jaffray) today announced that it has reached a settlement with its three primary regulators, concerning the firm's e-mail retention practices. The settlement with the SEC, NASD and NYSE, to which four other Wall Street firms are also party, fully resolves the matter. Under the terms of the settlement, each of the five Wall Street firms, including Piper Jaffray, have agreed to each pay $1,650,000 in fines.

The regulators allege that the firms violated the record-keeping requirements of SEC Rule 17a-4, which requires securities firms to preserve for a period of not less than three years, the most recent two years in an "accessible place," communications relating to their "business as such." While Piper Jaffray did in fact retain large volumes of e-mail, its retention of email communications and procedures was deemed inadequate to meet the requirements of the rule.

"We are confident that our current email procedures and enhanced software fully meets all of the regulatory requirements for e-mail retention," said Andrew Duff, president and chief executive officer of Piper Jaffray.

The settlement involves only an alleged failure to retain e-mail in compliance with the rule; there is no allegation or finding that Piper Jaffray's email retention practices obstructed or impeded any investigation.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), is a focused securities firm comprised of three divisions: Equity Capital Markets, Fixed Income Capital Markets and Private Advisory Services. The firm provides a full range of investment products and services to individuals, institutions and businesses. The firm has over 120 offices in 23 states across the country. The Equity Capital Markets Division focuses on the needs of growth companies in the health care, technology, financial institutions, consumer and communications growth sectors. The firm has a national reputation for its expertise in fundamental research and equity and debt financing. The Fixed Income Capital Markets business provides bond issuers, individual investors and institutional investors expertise in investment banking, underwriting, trading, sales and research. The firm offers innovative solutions in corporate and government debt financings with particular expertise in corporate, health care/hospitals, real estate, higher education and government debt. The Private Advisory Services division financial advisors provide guidance in retirement planning, education planning, estate planning and wealth accumulation. Investors select from a wide array of products, including fee-based products, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, insurance and trust services. U.S. Bancorp offers a comprehensive range of financial solutions through U.S. Bank, U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, U.S. Bancorp Investments and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. For more information on U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, visit www.piperjaffray.com .

Nondeposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or other obligations of or guaranteed by U.S. Bank National Association or its affiliates, and involve investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Securities products and services are offered through U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc., member SIPC and NYSE, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. (5/99-0679)

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SOURCE U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding U.S. Bancorp's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.



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