HSBC fined $3 million over incentives given to unauthorised agents for MPF scheme

(Reuters) – HSBC has been fined HK$24 million ($3.07 million) for offering incentives to “unregistered intermediaries” to get clients to join its Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme in 2020 and 2021, Hong Kong’s pension regulator said.

The Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) also said that it disqualified Yip Sze Ki, former head of pensions at HSBC, from taking up senior executive positions at any MPF operator for the next 18 months, according to a statement on Friday.

“The MPFA concluded that HSBC did not comply with the conduct requirements under the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance.”

HSBC, Asia’s biggest lender, told Reuters that it accepted the disciplinary action and fully co-operated with the pension regulator’s investigation, promptly implementing remedial measures.

“We take our obligations to comply with applicable regulations very seriously and are pleased to have resolved the matter,” an HSBC spokesperson said.

The MPFA said that it took into account all relevant circumstances while deciding on the disciplinary action, including over HK$240 million worth of assets under management at HSBC from more than 2,400 scheme members.

The MPFA said that HSBC allowing unregistered intermediaries to sell and market MPF schemes “strikes at the heart of the regulatory regime.”

($1 = 7.8103 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Rishav Chatterjee in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Shivangi Lahiri and Echha Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)


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