SFC Bans Former HSBC Trader Li Bo For Eight Months

An SFC investigation found that Li breached its Code of Conduct, failing to properly disclose trading transactions.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Hong Kong’s paramount securities regulator, has issued a new ban today of Li Bo, a former Associate at HSBC in Hong Kong, following his breach of the company’s personal trading policies and other failed disclosures during his tenure with the lender.

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Mr. Li was given a ban of eight months from the SFC, which will encompass an interval lasting from June 9, 2017 until February 8, 2018. The disciplinary action handed down follows on the heels of an SFC investigation that isolated an eighteen-month period between April 2014 and September 2015 in which Mr. Li in multiple instances breached HSBC’s and the SFC’s Code of Conduct.

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Mr. Li originally joined HSBC in 2014 – during his tenure his worked exclusively as an Associate with the group, focusing on equity capital markets, whilst based out of Hong Kong. During the aforementioned period of the investigation, he failed to disclose to his employer his personal trading account and beneficial interests in the securities accounts of his friend.

Moreover, Li also did not properly obtain prior approval from HSBC for his securities trading transactions in his colleague’s account, thereby allowing the account to operate without any oversight from HSBC. This runs in direct opposition to the SFC’s Code of Conduct, which stipulates that organizations need to actively monitor trading activity in their employees’ accounts and their related accounts.

A ban of just eight months was levied on account of Mr. Li’s cooperation with the SFC, which took into account an absence of prior misconduct at HSBC or elsewhere.

The SFC has been quite active over the past month, issuing no shortage of bans and other notices against individuals and organizations. Last month, the regulator suspended Hui Lam Chiu, an officer of Guoyuan Securities Brokerage Limited, following his breach of anti-money laundering guidelines. More recently, the SFC issued a restriction notice against IDS Forex HK Limited, following allegations of fraud and the imprisonment of the group’s sole shareholder Kim Sunghun.

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