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(Adds statement by company, comment by CEO)
TORONTO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp said on Monday its banking subsidiary was fined by Canada's financial intelligence agency last year for what Manulife described as administrative lapses in reporting financial transactions.
The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) last April fined an unnamed Canadian bank C$1.1 million ($837,000), the first time it had penalized an institution.
"The penalty essentially related to administrative lapses in reporting to FINTRAC," the company said in a statement, acknowledging it was the unnamed bank.
"Although we operate at the highest ethical standard, we are capable of administrative errors. They were remedied in the first half of 2014. There is no evidence to suggest that the administrative reporting violations were connected to any financial misconduct," it added.
Speaking at an event in Toronto, Manulife Chief Executive Officer Don Guloien said: "I think what happened in this case is, there’s two interpretations someone could take about the guidelines. We took an interpretation that was clearly wrong, or certainly not the one FINTRAC wanted us to hold." ($1 = 1.3148 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Jeffrey Benkoe)