The $200 million civil settlement with Regions Financial Corp.'s brokerage unit this week was the sort of case that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state regulators believe should guide industry behavior.

"You're supposed to take lessons from this," Joseph Borg, director of Alabama's securities commission, said at a joint press conference. Such efforts to "look for a short-term buck" were at the heart of the financial crisis, he said.

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