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SFC slaps more fines over sponsor failures – Standard Chartered, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch targeted too

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Merrill Lynch Far East Limited has been proven to have failed to discharge its responsibilities as among the joint sponsors in relation to the listing program of Tianhe Chemicals Group Limited in 2014.
In determining the punishment for Merrill Lynch, the SFC took into consideration that Merrill Lynch enabled Tianhe to restrain both the due diligence process and failed to take appropriate measures to cover the red flags raised in and after the client interviews. However, Merrill Lynch cooperated with the SFC in accepting the disciplinary action and the SFC’s findings and regulatory concerns. The company has also agreed to employ an independent reviewer to assess its own policies, practices and procedures in relation to the conduct of its host enterprise.

The SFC’s investigations concluded that Standard Chartered Securities had neglected to make reasonable due diligence enquiries in relation to a number of core elements of China Forestry’s company.
Shortly after declaring the disciplinary action against UBS today, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has unveiled the imposition of fairly hefty penalties against many other banks over sponsor failures.
The SFC’s investigations showed that Merrill Lynch had neglected to follow the specific recommendations due diligence interviews under paragraph 17.6 of this Code of Conduct.
Morgan Stanley Asia Limited is fined for failing to discharge its responsibilities as among the joint patrons in regard to the list application of Tianhe Chemicals Group Limited at 2014. The SFC’s investigations decided that Morgan Stanley had failed to follow the specific instructions on due diligence interviews under paragraph 17.6 of this Code of Conduct.
FinanceFeeds –

In choosing the sanctions, the SFC took into account, inter alia, for example a sponsor, Morgan Stanley has a clean disciplinary record and the company participates with the SFC to solve the SFC’s regulatory worries.

In deciding on the sanctions, the SFC took into consideration that the deficiencies at the due diligence conducted by Standard Chartered Securities are significant, i.e. it’s failed to properly analyze and verify crucial aspects of China Forestry’s company such as its forestry assets, logging activities, insurance policy and clients. But, Standard Chartered Securities cooperated with the SFC in accepting that the disciplinary actions and the SFC’s findings and regulatory concerns.
The listings in the Heart of the regulatory matters issue China Forestry Holdings Company Limited and also Tianhe Chemicals Group Limited. Standard Chartered Securities has a fine of HK$59.7 million, Merrill Lynch Far East Limited will need to pay a penalty of HK$128 million, whereas Morgan Stanley Asia Limited got slapped with a fine of HK$224 million.