Singaporean regulator bans ex-OCBC employee over unauthorized FX trades
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announces that it has issued a prohibition order (PO) against a former bank employee of OCBC.
The order proohibits Lu Chor Sheng, former Treasury Advisor of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC), from performing any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and from providing any financial advisory service under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA) for a period of 17 years. He is 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.
Between January 2011 and June 2013, Mr Lu used the OCBC accounts of a friend to place unauthorised forward foreign exchange (FX) 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, Mr Lu placed additional unauthorised trades in his customers’ accounts as counterparties to the trades placed in his friend’s accounts.
Mr Lu told his customers that these were erroneous trades that would be reversed at no loss to them. Mr 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 the unauthorised trades were discovered by OCBC, the bank closed out the outstanding contracts in Mr Lu’s customer accounts and suffered a total loss of $3.09 million. Mr Lu made a profit of about $1.09 million from his misconduct and used the monies to buy foreign currencies as well as to repay debts.
Mr 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. Mr Lu was sentenced to 100 months’ imprisonment.
The PO was issued following Lu’s conviction in the State Courts of Singapore. The order took effect on October 29, 2020.