Hong Kong’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), has banned a former relationship manager of Citibank Hong Kong from re-entering the industry for three years after he was convicted of conducting unauthorized trades from client accounts.
The SFC’s investigation found that on several occasions between 30 March and 1 April 2016, Yeung Leung Yuen had placed five discretionary trades on behalf of a client without obtaining the proper authorization. He also created deceptive records to give the impression that the trade instructions originated from or were confirmed with the client.
As a result of his misconduct, Citibank had to pay $22,233 to the affected client to compensate for his losses.
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The violation occurred while he was a registered representative with SFC under the Securities and Futures Ordinance to carry on Type 1 (dealing in securities) and Type 4 (advising on securities) regulated activities. Following the regulator’s decision, Yuen is no longer licensed by the SFC nor registered with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
Furthermore, Yuen did not report the unauthorised transactions to Citibank and also failed to keep a proper record of the clients’ instructions which were sent to him.
As such, Yeung acted contrary to the internal policy of Citibank, and his conduct also fell short of the standard set out in the Code of Conduct, casting doubt on his fitness to be licensed.
The watchdog further stated that Yeung did not act in the best interests of his client when he conducted the unauthorised trades in the account without authorization, breaching the General Principal 2 and paragraph 7.1 of the Code of Conduct.