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Compliance Corner: MAS

Editorial Staff, 3 November 2020


The latest compliance news: regulatory developments, punishments, guidance, permissions and new product and service offerings.

Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has banned two former United Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation employees for fraud and dishonest conduct.

The prohibition orders have been imposed on Lu Chor Sheng, former Treasury advisor of OCBC (for 17 years) and Tan Swee Thiam Timothy, former relationship manager (PO for nine years).

Between January 2011 and June 2013, Lu used the OCBC accounts of a friend to place unauthorised forward foreign exchange trades with off-market rates in OCBC’s system, so that he could buy lower and sell higher than the prevailing market rates. To realise profits, Lu placed additional unauthorised trades in his customers’ accounts as counterparties to the trades placed in his friend’s accounts. Lu told his customers that these were erroneous trades that would be reversed at no loss to them. Lu also instigated his friend to impersonate his customers to place unauthorised forward FX orders with OCBC, in order to close off unauthorised FX trades that Mr Lu had placed in those customers’ accounts. 

When OCBC discovered the unauthorised trades, the bank closed out the outstanding contracts in Lu’s customer accounts and suffered a total loss of S$3.09 million. Lu made a profit of about S$1.09 million from his misconduct and used the monies to buy foreign currencies as well as to repay debts.

Lu was convicted of abetment of cheating under the Penal Code, unauthorised modification of the contents of OCBC’s system under the Computer Misuse Act and offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act. Lu was sentenced to 100 months’ imprisonment.

In Tan’s case, one of his friends, a customer of UOB, had entrusted her UOB bank accounts, internet banking security token and UOB ATM card to him. Between March 2015 and January 2016, Tan made unauthorised internet bank transfers amounting to around S$263,500 from this customer’s UOB account to his personal bank account, in order to pay for his living expenses.

Tan was convicted of criminal breach of trust under the PC and offences under the CMA. He was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment.

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