Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has reprimanded and fined BNP Paribas Wealth Management (BNPPWM) $4 million for overcharging its clients between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2013.
The SFC’s investigation found during this time period, the monetary benefits, including charges, mark-ups and fees, received by BNPPWM from around 2,300 client transactions exceeded the levels it represented in the documentation provided to the clients.
The total amount overcharged was in the region of $9.5 million with the affected transactions covering various types of investment products including equities, bonds, structured products, options, swaps and funds.
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BNPPWM’s was in breach of the SFC’s code of conduct by failing to exercise due skill, care and diligence to ensure the monetary benefits it received from client transactions were fair and reasonable, and in accordance with its representations to the clients.
On top of the $4 million fine imposed by the SFC, BNPPWM has proactively co-operated with the commission in resolving the concerns. The firm has repaid all overcharged amounts received from current clients and is also in the process of repaying former clients.
This is the latest case which has seen the SFC impose hefty fines on firms who breach its code of conduct.
Morgan Stanley HK Securities was recently fined $18.5 million for breaches concerning its dealings in securities, futures contracts and provision of automated trading services, as reported by Finance Magnates.