India's largest private lender ICICI Bank has been fined Rs 220,000 ($5,120) by Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission for breach of licence rules and was ordered to further reimburse investigation costs.
SFC has imposed the fine on charges that ICICI Bank was carrying on the business of dealing in securities in Hong Kong between June 15, 2004 and March 8, 2006 without a licence.
The bank informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it has taken appropriate staff accountability actions against the employees concerned, whose conduct resulted in the contravention.
"Since then the bank has implemented significant measures to strengthen the compliance, monitoring and control functions at the Hong Kong branch, including a new management team in early 2006," it added.
The contravention was limited to a small segment of the branch's business in Hong Kong and has not resulted in any loss either to the bank's customers or to the bank, it said.
Since May 2006, the existing customers concerned have been serviced directly by the head office.
This incident would not have any effect on overall operations or the soundness of the bank.
Adding that it regrets the occurrence of this incident involving its Hong Kong branch and certain of its current and former employees, ICICI said it had never authorised violation of law and does not condone any contravention of applicable laws in the conduct of its business.
The Hong Kong branch continues to conduct its business and operations in Hong Kong in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, ICICI added.