In 2009 the State of California alleged on behalf of its pension funds CalPERS and CalSTRS that State Street had committed fraud on currency trades handled by the custodian bank. Two executives from State Street Global Markets left the company in October 2011 following enquiries over the pricing of a fixed income transaction.
State Street in December 2010 announced that it would be retrenching 5% of its workforce and effectively reducing the wages of remaining employees by 10%. In March 2011 it reversed its wage-reduction decision but declared that it would still require all employees to work a longer 40-hour week.
On 28 February 2012, State Street Global Advisors entered into a consent order with the Massachusetts Securities Division. The Division was investigating SSGA’s role as the investment manager of a $1.65 billion (USD) hybrid collateralized debt obligation. The investigation resulted in a fine of $5 million (USD) for the non-disclosure of certain initial investors taking a short position on portions of the CDO.
State Street Bank has been accused of "stealth outsourcing" or transferring American jobs to their outsourcing partners Syntel and HCL-India under the radar and in small increments to avoid any political backlash. State Street Bank - the second largest client of Syntel - also has a joint venture in the Indian city of Pune with them which they have the option to buy out. The controversy is compounded by the fact State Street bank received an $11.5 million tax incentive from the city of Boston to move into a new location in the South Boston Innovation District as well as 2 billion in TARP assistance all while still sending jobs overseas.
During the May 2012 annual shareholders meeting, chairman and chief executive Jay Hooley was shouted down on numerous occasions by protesters in relation to the outsourcing and other grievances.
On Jan 18 in 2017 authorities agreed that State Street Corp will pay $64.6 million to resolve U.S. investigations into what prosecutors said was a scheme to defraud six clients through secret commissions on billions of dollars of trades.
For March 2017, State Street Global Advisors commissioned a statue (Fearless Girl) by Kristen Visbal and located it temporarily in the Financial District, Manhattan, in front of the Wall Street icon Charging Bull. The statue is an advertisement for an index fund which comprises gender diverse companies that have a higher percentage of women among their senior leadership. While some have seen it as an encouragement of women in business, some women criticized the statue as "corporate feminism" that violated their own feminist principles.