Hong Kong regulator fines UBS $ 1.5 million for breach of compliance

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The logo of Swiss bank UBS can be seen in a branch in Zurich, Switzerland on June 22, 2020. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

HONG KONG, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Swiss bank UBS (UBSG.S) has been fined HK $ 11.55 million ($ 1.5 million) by the securities regulator of Hong Kong for failing to disclose its holdings in certain companies covered by its research reports, the watchdog said on Tuesday.

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said in a statement that the bank’s failure to disclose its financial interests in reports released between 2004 and 2018 was attributed to an error in the use of legacy technology, which followed holdings of UBS shares.

The fines were also linked to four other compliance breaches, including the bank’s failure to register 35 phone lines between August 2017 and 2019 involving more than 2,000 transactions executed for more than 400 customers.

UBS reported the issue to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which then alerted the SFC, the regulator said.

It was also found that the bank had not received the proper authorization from 91 clients who were not classified as professional investors for 913 pooled securities lending transactions.

He did not obtain any evidence of previous trading from clients participating in certain derivative transactions to assess their knowledge, nor did he notify 15 clients of the “stop loss event” mechanism on a structured note transaction, a declared the SFC.

“UBS has self-identified and reported these issues to Hong Kong regulators as soon as we discovered the issues,” the bank said in a statement.

“We took immediate steps to strengthen our internal controls and systems to prevent the problems from recurring.”

($ 1 = 7.7758 Hong Kong dollars)

Reporting by Scott Murdoch; Editing by Anil D’Silva

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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