The European Central Bank (ECB) has imposed a fine of around €4.3m ($5.5m) on Crédit Agricole for violating the regulations on classifying information on top-grade capital.

In a statement, ECB said that the bank was found to ‘breach the obligation to obtain prior permission to classify capital instruments as Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) instruments’.

It classified capital instruments as CET1 instruments for five consecutive quarterly reporting periods and three successive public disclosures made in 2015 and 2016.

According to Article 26(3) CRR, a lender must procure necessary permission from respective authorities before disclosing such information.

ECB imposed the sanctions under the Article 18(1) of Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 of 15 October 2013. It authorises ECB for prudential supervision of credit institutions and its concerned policies.

CA Consumer Finance was fined €200,000 and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank €300,000.

However, Crédit Agricole can challenge the decision at the Court of Justice of the European Union, subject to specific conditions and within a timeframe.

The Financial Times reported that the French lender has ‘taken due note of the grievances it had been notified of’.

In May, Crédit Agricole registered a net income of €1.03bn for the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 7.1% year-on-year.