MAS issues prohibition orders against three individuals for dishonest conduct

They include former representatives of Jefferies Singapore and Legacy FA.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued prohibition orders (POs) against Jeremy Lee Seow Poh, Ong Eng Keong and Yap Chee Hoe for dishonest conduct, an announcement revealed.

Lee and Ong, who are both former representatives of financial institution Jefferies Singapore (JSL), are prohibited from performing any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and providing any financial advisory service under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA). They are also prohibited from taking part in the management, acting as a director or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market services firm under the SFA and any financial advisory firm under the FAA. Lee will be prohibited for four years, whilst Ong will be prohibited for two years.

“Lee was the managing director and head of sales for the fixed income desk of JSL whilst Ong was the senior vice president of credit trading in the same company. Both men were prohibited from trading in bonds during their employment with JSL without the company’s knowledge and approval, as this could conflict with the trading activities of JSL and its clients. Between May 2011 and December 2012, Lee traded in bonds using his private banking account that was intentionally not disclosed to JSL,” MAS explained.

The statement added that Lee also colluded with Ong to trade against JSL using privileged information which they obtained in their course of work on JSL’s fixed income desk, and shared the trading profit with Ong.

“JSL would not have entered into these trades if it was aware that Lee was the counterparty due to possible conflict between the personal interests of Lee and Ong, and that of JSL and its clients. By their deceptive conduct, they had contravened section 201(b) of the SFA,” MAS underlined.

The agency further noted that in September 2016, Lee joined DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral (DZ) as its director and head of sales Asia for capital market sales and as an appointed representative. During a pre-employment fit and proper test conducted by DZ, Lee declared that he had not been subject to any disciplinary proceedings by his former employer.

“This declaration was false as JSL had issued Lee with a written compliance warning for improper business conduct in the handling of a customer order in 2015,” MAS noted.

On the basis of Lee’s statement, DZ assessed Lee to be fit and proper to be its representative. By making a false statement to DZ, Mr Lee contravened section 99O(2)(a) of the SFA and section 23L(2)(a) of the FAA.

Meanwhile, Yap, a former representative of financial advisory firm Legacy FA, is prohibited from carrying on business, and taking part in the management of an insurance intermediary under the Insurance Act (IA) for two years. He is also banned from providing any financial advisory service and taking part in the management, acting as a director or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm under the FAA.

Between May and July 2017, Yap forged the signatures of five individuals in their insurance application forms as he wanted to expedite their purchases of the insurance policies. He had also provided false information concerning one individual’s health and employment status in one of the applications, MAS added.

The individuals did not suffer any losses as the applications were either withdrawn by the individuals or cancelled by the insurance company after Yap’s misconduct was uncovered. 

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