The disciplinary action concerns HSBC’s holding of open positions in Hang Seng China Enterprises Index futures and options contracts over the prescribed limit on 18 occasions, the SFC said in a statement.
“On 21 November 2014, HSBC notified the SFC that it had identified breaches of the prescribed limit on 17 occasions from 26 May to 1 August 2014 (inquiry period),” the regulator said.
More than nine months after the bank became aware of its first breach, it notified the SFC of an additional breach during the inquiry period.
“HSBC admitted that its failure in identifying breaches of position limit was due to a lack of adequate knowledge within HSBC regarding, amongst other things, its position limits and its state of compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements."
The regulator concluded that not only did HSBC fail to “identify its position limit breaches promptly” but the bank lacked adequate knowledge regarding its “position limits and its state of compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements”.
HSBC also “lacked policies or procedures in place for position limit monitoring of HKFE’s futures and options contracts and failed to implement any position monitoring control over these contracts”.
As a result, the bank was publicly reprimanded HSBC and fined HK$2.5m ($322,243).
The regulator added that “HSBC has since taken steps to improve its internal controls on monitoring of position limit and co-operated with the SFC in resolving the SFC’s concerns”.