FSC imposes nearly NT$100 million in fines on financial firms


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), the top financial regulator in Taiwan, said Friday that it has imposed almost NT$100 million (US$3.29 million) in fines on financial firms so far this year for irregularities in their operations.

The FSC said that the fines accounted for 55 percent of a goal of NT$171 million in fines set for this year by the commission to crack down on financial irregularities in the local market in a bid to maintain market order.

Under the watch of FSC Chairman Lee Ruey-tsang (李瑞倉), the commission said that it is determined to maintain an independent and disciplined supervisory mechanism that is expected to strengthen financial institutions’ corporate governance.

The FSC cited Lee as saying that the commission’s supervisory principles aim to catch any serious irregularities that could undermine corporate ethics.

As a result, the FSC said, since Lee took the FSC helm in October 2016, the commission has issued four tickets of NT$10 million or more each, a move that leaves behind the past practices of the FSC, which had seldom handed down such punishment.

According to the FSC, the move to issue large tickets shows the commission’s determination to maintain market order.

Out of the four tickets worth NT$10 million or more each, three were issued in the first half of this year, the FSC said.

The first ticket was NT$11 million against Far Eastern Commercial Bank (遠東銀) for its failure to observe the law in transactions of convertible bonds issued by gaming software developer XPEC Entertainment Inc. (樂陞科技), the FSC said.

The second was a fine of NT$10 million against SinoPac Financial Holding Co. (永豐金) for the role the company’s ousted chairman played in illegal lending, reported to be about NT$5 billion, the FSC added.

The third ticket for NT$10 million was against EnTie Commercial Bank (安泰銀) for malpractice in trading of target redemption forwards (TRFs), the commission said. TRFs are a type of option with a better rate of return but also higher risk, which have become popular in Taiwan.

In terms of irregularities in certain financial product transactions, the FSC has issued a total of NT$28 million-worth of tickets in TRF trading so far this year, accounting for about 30 percent of the total fines, the FSC said.

The FSC said that the insurance sector received 26 tickets in the first half of this year, the largest number among all of the financial sub-segments supervised by the commission.