New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) HDFC Bank today said it has submitted a detailed examination report to market regulator Sebi with regard to leakage of its financial results on WhatsApp before the formal announcement. Also Read - Govt Allows Operation of Electricity Futures in India
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had last week directed the bank to submit a detailed report on chronology of events and persons involved in the leakage of financial results for quarter ended June 30, 2017. Also Read - CBDT Signs MoU With SEBI For Data Exchange
“…the bank had submitted a detailed examination report to Sebi,” HDFC Bank said in a regulatory filing. Also Read - SEBI Allows Promoters to Increase Stake by up to 10%
It reiterated its to commitments to the “highest standards of corporate governance” and the integrity of its systems, controls and processes, including with regard to prevention of unauthorised access to UPSI (Unpublished Price Sensitive Information).
In its directive, Sebi had also asked the private sector lender to strengthen its processes/systems/controls forthwith to ensure that instances of leakage of price sensitive information do not trickle in future.
Sebi had found inadequate controls at HDFC Bank to be the ‘prima facie’ reason for the leakage of financial information through WhatsApp.
The matter relates the high-profile leakage case where sensitive financial details of various companies, including HDFC Bank, got leaked on WhatsApp before their formal announcement.
Sebi virtually censured the top private sector lender and asked it to strengthen the systems and controls to check any such leak in future.
In an order earlier, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said it can prima facie be inferred that the UPSI relating to financials of HDFC Bank was leaked.
“Such leakage is prima facie attributable to the inadequacy of the processes/ controls/ systems that HDFC Bank as a listed company had put in place,” Sebi had said.
Last December, the regulator had, in a similar ruling, ordered Axis Bank to strengthen its systems and conduct an internal probe after finding that the company’s results for the June 2017 quarter were “either identical or matched closely with the figures” that were in circulation on WhatsApp prior to an official announcement.
“HDFC Bank shall strengthen its processes/ systems/ controls forthwith to ensure that such instances of leakage of unpublished price sensitive information do not recur in future,” Sebi order had said.
Sebi had initiated a preliminary examination in the matter of circulation of UPSI through WhatsApp groups.
During the course of preliminary examination, it was observed that in respect of HDFC Bank, the messages circulated on WhatsApp closely matched its quarterly financial results for June 2017, which were published subsequently.
HDFC Bank’s stock closed 1.6 per cent up at Rs 1,909.95 on BSE.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.