The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that 36 underwriters, including Wall Street’s biggest banks, sold bonds for municipalities that failed to make adequate financial disclosures to investors.

Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit, Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley each settled with the SEC and will pay $500,000, according to a statement released Thursday. The SEC said offering documents for deals they sold contained false information or material omissions about borrowers’ compliance with the law.

The penalties are the first against underwriters to result from an an offer of leniency the agency extended to banks and municipalities that reported running afoul of securities laws. It’s part of a push to crack down on borrowers in the $3.6 trillion local-government bond market that fail to provide key information to investors.

The initiative “has already resulted in significant improvements to the municipal securities market, including heightened awareness of issuers’ disclosure obligations,” SEC Chair Mary Jo White said in the statement. “This ongoing enforcement initiative will continue to bring lasting changes to the municipal securities markets for the benefit of investors.”

The SEC first fined a municipal issuer in November 2013. Before that, it had settled with states including Illinois and New Jersey without imposing a financial penalty.

The underwriters didn’t admit or deny the findings, the SEC said. The penalties were capped based on the size of the firm.

A spokeswoman for JPMorgan didn’t immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment. Spokespeople for Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Citigroup spokesman Scott Helfman said the company is “pleased to have the matter resolved.”