It’s been a busy week at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as two major banks took a serious hit after failing to comply with safe keeping rules and for misleading the Financial Ombudsman Service, FCA said.
U.K. watchdog has fined Bank of New York Mellon (BNY) $185 million for neglecting to safeguard customer money during the financial crisis. FCA said the fine was imposed on BNY Mellon’s London branch and on BNY Mellon’s International Limited for breaching its Custody Rules, which protects custody assets in the event a company becomes insolvent, so customers can easily retrieve their assets.
“The firms’ failure to comply with our rules including their failure to adequately record, reconcile and protect safe custody assets was particularly serious given the systemically important nature of the firms and the fact that safeguarding assets is core to their business,” Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA said. “The size of the fine reflects the value of safe custody assets held by the Firms as well as the seriousness of the failings and the fact that these failings were not identified by the Firms’ own compliance monitoring.”
In another case, the FCA imposed a record fine on Clydesdale Bank after the firm’s lax procedures misled the Financial Ombudsman Service and for mishandling customers seeking PPIs.
The £20.7m fine went down as the Scotland-based bank’s largest for poorly handled payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints. The authority said between May 2012 and June 2013, a team of Clydesdale employees within its PPI complaint unit doctored system print outs in an effort to conceal relevant documents from the ombudsman. Employees also deleted all PPI information from a separate print out that listed the products sold to the customer. Clydesdale PPI leadership team or senior management did not authorize these practices.
“Clydesdale’s failings were unacceptable and fell well below the standard the FCA expects,” Philippou said. “The fact that Clydesdale misled the Financial Ombudsman by providing false information about the information it held is particularly serious and this is reflected in the size of the fine.”