Bank of New York Co. (BK) on Tuesday said the Securities and Exchange Commission (search) is investigating the company and its BNY Hamilton mutual fund family.

The No. 10 U.S. bank said the SEC is examining the relationship among BNY Hamilton Funds Inc. (search), a third-party service provider that acts as the funds' administrator and principal underwriter, and the company itself, as the funds' investment adviser.

Bank of New York (search) said the investigation mainly concerns the appropriateness of marketing and distribution expenses for the funds. The company said it is cooperating with the SEC.

Bank of New York disclosed the investigation in its annual report filed with the SEC. It was not immediately clear when the SEC began its investigation or what stage the agency has reached.

Jeep Bryant, Bank of New York spokesman, declined to elaborate.

SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment.

In its previous quarterly report, filed Nov. 9, Bank of New York said government and self-regulatory agencies were examining the relationship involving the BNY Hamilton funds. It did not then say specifically that the SEC was involved.

Bank of New York shares rose 22 cents to $30.47 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.