Despite regulatory pronouncements to the contrary, some industry observers fear the $10 million of fines imposed on Bankers Trust New York Corp. are the first step toward tightening a regulatory noose on the swaps industry.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission imposed the fines as part of a settlement with the banking company. Although Bankers Trust admitted no wrongdoing, regulators said they had found evidence of securities fraud and improper disclosure in the bank's sale of derivatives to Gibson Greetings Inc.

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