Enforcement Actions
Published Date: 09 May 2019

MAS issues Prohibition Orders against three individuals for dishonest conduct

Singapore, 9 May 2019… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued prohibition orders (POs) against three individuals for dishonest conduct. The individuals are:

Name Duration of Prohibition Orders
Mr Jeremy Lee Seow Poh,
former representative of Jefferies Singapore Limited (JSL)
4 years
Mr Ong Eng Keong,
former representative of JSL
2 years
Mr Yap Chee Hoe,
former representative of Legacy FA Pte. Ltd. (Legacy)
2 years

All three prohibition orders took effect from 8 May 2019.

POs issued against Mr Lee and Mr Ong

2    Mr Lee and Mr Ong 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 FAAThe POs against Mr Lee and Mr Ong were issued under section 101A of the SFA and section 59 of the FAA..

3    Mr Lee was the Managing Director and Head of Sales for the fixed income desk of JSL while Mr Ong was the Senior Vice President, 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, Mr Lee traded in bonds using his private banking account that was intentionally not disclosed to JSL. He also colluded with Mr 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 Mr Ong. JSL would not have entered into these trades if it was aware that Mr Lee was the counterparty due to possible conflict between the personal interests of Mr Lee and Mr Ong, and that of JSL and its clients. By their deceptive conduct, they had contravened section 201(b) of the SFA.

4    In September 2016, Mr Lee joined DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral (DZ) as its Director, Head of Sales Asia for Capital Market Sales and as an appointed representative. During a pre-employment fit and proper test conducted by DZ, Mr Lee declared that he had not been subject to any disciplinary proceedings by his former employer. This declaration was false as JSL had issued Mr Lee with a written compliance warning for improper business conduct in the handling of a customer order in 2015. On the basis of Mr Lee’s statement, DZ assessed Mr 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.

POs issued against Mr Yap

5      Mr Yap is prohibited from carrying on business as, and taking part in the management of an insurance intermediary under the Insurance Act (IA). 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 FAAThe POs against Mr Yap were issued under section 35V(1)(b) of the IA and section 59(1)(bc) of the FAA.

6     Mr Yap was an appointed representative of Legacy from February to July 2017. Between May and July 2017, Mr Yap forged the signatures of five individuals in their insurance application forms as he wanted to expedite their purchases of the insurance policies. Mr Yap had also provided false information concerning one individual’s health and employment status in one of the applications. The individuals did not suffer any losses as the applications were either withdrawn by the individuals or cancelled by the insurance company after Mr Yap’s misconduct was uncovered.
      
7     Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), MAS, said: “MAS expects financial service professionals to uphold high standards of integrity and proper conduct. Professionals who fall short of these standards must be dealt with firmly to safeguard public trust in our financial institutions.”

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Additional information

Section 201(b) of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap 289)

Under this section, no person shall, directly or indirectly, in connection with the subscription, purchase or sale of any securities engage in any act, practice or course of business which operates as a fraud or deception, or is likely to operate as a fraud or deception, upon any person.

Section 99O(2)(a) of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap 289)

Under this section, any individual who, in connection with the lodgment by his principal of any document under section 99H makes a statement to his principal which is false or misleading in a material particular, being a statement subsequently lodged with the Authority shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Section 23L(2)(a) of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap 110)

Under this section, any individual who, in connection with the lodgment by his principal of any document under section 23F makes a statement to his principal which is false or misleading in a material particular, being a statement subsequently lodged with the Authority shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Section 35V(1)(b) of the Insurance Act (Cap 142)

Under this section, the Authority may, by order, prohibit any person from carrying on business as an insurance intermediary or from taking part, directly or indirectly, in the management of any insurance intermediary where the Authority is satisfied that the person has —
 
    (i)    forged policyholders’ signatures;
    (ii)   misappropriated policyholders’ premiums;
    (iii)  contravened any provision of this Act;
    (iv)  given false, misleading or inaccurate information in its application to the insurer;
    (v)   wilfully misled any policyholder when assisting him to fill up the proposal form;
    (vi)  used dishonest means to meet the requirements set up by the insurer; or
    (vii)  been involved in any activity prejudicial to the public interest.

Section 59(1)(bc) of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap 110)

Under this section, the Authority may make a prohibition order against a person, by notice in writing, where the person (not being a person referred to in paragraph (bd)) is or was a representative of a licensed financial adviser, the Authority has reason to believe that circumstances exist under which there would exist a ground on which the Authority may revoke under section 23J his status as an appointed or provisional representative.

Section 23J(1)(h)(iii) of the Financial Advisers Act (Cap 110)

Under this section, subject to regulations made under this Act, the Authority may refuse to enter the name and other particulars of an individual in the public register of representatives, refuse to enter an additional type of financial advisory service for an appointed representative in that register, or revoke the status of an individual as an appointed or provisional representative if in the case of the revocation of the status of an individual as an appointed or provisional representative the Authority has reason to believe that he has not performed, or will not perform, the type of financial advisory service for which he is appointed efficiently, honestly or fairly.

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