BPI fined P134.6M over registration error

BPI fined P134.6M over registration error

BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has been fined P134.62 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to secure the proper clearances for an in-house stock purchase plan.

“In its letter dated Feb. 3, 2023, the SEC assessed penalties against the bank for violation of Section 8.1 of the Securities and Regulation Code in the amount of P134,622,017.59 for omitting to secure SEC’s confirmation of exemption from registration for its seven-year Executive Stock Purchase Plan and Executive Stock Option Plan launched in 2013,” the bank said in a disclosure on Monday.

BPI called the omission a “bona fide error.”

“The bank omitted to register its 2013-2019 Executive Stock Option Plan and Executive Stock Purchase Plan, or avail of the appropriate exemption due to error in good faith related to the application of leftover exempted shares from a previous employee stock program,” BPI told The Manila Times.

“The SEC assessed penalties for this, and the bank intends to abide by the final decision of the Commission. Rest assured that BPI is committed to being in proper compliance with Philippine regulations,” it added.

The Ayala-led bank saw its share price fall by 2.17 percent or P2.40 to P108 apiece on Monday, outpacing a 1.29-percent fall for the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index.

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