Asset management firm BCP fined €210,000 by Central Bank

Company admits to breaches that include a failure to adequately protect some investors

The Central Bank has fined BCP and reprimanded it for the breaches, which were admitted by the firm. Photograph: PA

The Central Bank has fined BCP and reprimanded it for the breaches, which were admitted by the firm. Photograph: PA

 

The Central Bank has imposed a fine of €210,000 on an asset management company for its failure to adequately protect investors.

BCP Asset Management, which describes itself as one of Ireland’s largest independently owned investment product providers for the adviser market, manages more than €2.5 billion in assets for investors and has in excess of 11,000 investors on its books.

The Central Bank has fined BCP and reprimanded it for the breaches, which were admitted by the firm. The regulator’s enforcement investigation identified “significant failures” by the firm in respect of “client categorisation”. As a result, certain clients were not afforded the level of investor protection appropriate to their status as retail clients.

The breaches identified firstly related to the firm’s failure to carry out adequate assessments of eight retail clients who elected to be treated as professional clients.

Secondly, the firm was criticised for a failure to take all reasonable steps to ensure that elective professional clients met the quantitative test set out in the MiFID regulations, which are the new EU regulatory rules.

Finally, BCP was also reprimanded for its failure to have in place “adequate policies and procedures” for client categorisation.

The first two breaches commenced on dates between July 2013 and December 2013 when the clients were opted up as professional clients and persisted for in excess of four years until full remediation was completed by the firm on December 1st, 2017.

The third breach occurred for a two year period between July 2013 and June 2015.

In a statement to The Irish Times, BCP said the matter was “isolated” and had been resolved.

“It is important to note that no customers suffered financial loss relating to this matter, and no customer complaints were received,” it said. “This isolated matter does not impact any of our other 11,000 plus clients.