The Securities and Exchange Commission has received federal approval of its global settlement over research analyst conflicts.

On Friday, as U.S. judge approved the US$1.4 billion global settlement of the SEC enforcement actions against10 of the top investment firms in the U.S. and two individuals alleging undue influence of investment banking interests on securities research at brokerage firms.

Also of Friday, the SEC banned two prominent analysts, Henry Blodget and Jack Grubman.

The SEC instituted and simultaneously settled public administrative proceedings against Blodget based upon a permanent injunction entered against him. The commission filed a civil action against Blodget, who was formerly a managing director and senior research analyst at Merrill Lynch, alleging that he issued research reports on one Internet company that were materially misleading, and others that were not based on principles of fair dealing and good faith.

The order bars Blodget from association with any broker, dealer, or investment adviser. Blodget consented to the order without admitting or denying any of the allegations in the civil injunctive action.

A similar settlement was reached with former Salomon Smith Barney Inc. analyst, Jack Grubman. The SEC alleged that Grubman issued research reports on two telecommunications companies that were fraudulent, and six others that were not based on principles of fair dealing and good faith.