BNP Paribas Wealth Management (BNPPWM) has been fined HKD4m by the Hong Kong securities regulator for overcharging its clients.
A probe by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) revealed that between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2013, monetary benefits such as charges, mark-ups and fees received by BNPPWM from about 2,300 client transactions exceeded the levels represented in client documents.
The affected investment products included equities, bonds, structured products, options, swaps and funds, with the total overcharged amount being almost HKD9.5m.
“BNPPWM’s conduct was in breach of the 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,” SFC said in a statement.
The fine could have been higher if not for the company agreeing to engage in an independent review and ensuring that all overcharged amounts are returned to clients.
The wealth management company also self reported the matter to the SFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), and also co-operated with the SFC in resolving the issue, the securities watchdog said.