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MAS issues prohibition orders to 2 former brokerage representatives for dishonesty

MAS issues prohibition orders to 2 former brokerage representatives for dishonesty

The Monetary Authority of Singapore headquarters. (File photo: TODAY/Jason Quah)

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued prohibition orders to two former brokerage representatives for providing false information, it said on Thursday (Sep 2). 

The orders, issued to Lan Kangming and Wee Toon Lee, took effect from Wednesday.

Lan and Wee, who received four and three years respectively, are prohibited from performing any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).

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. 

Both men had been appointed representatives of UOB Kay Hian (UOBKH) providing corporate financial advisory services for initial public offerings (IPOs), said MAS. 

In the media release, MAS said that during an inspection on UOBKH between June and August 2018, it requested to see a due diligence report from the stockbroking firm

The report had been prepared by a private investigation firm appointed by UOBKH for the IPO of a company listed on the Singapore Exchange’s Catalist Board.

When asked whether certain background checks had been conducted on individuals and entities related to the company, Lan told MAS that the checks had been done, even though he actually did not know.

Lan, who was Wee's superior, then instructed the private investigation firm to amend its original report to include further information regarding the purported background checks and submitted the amended report to MAS on Jul 24, 2018. 

Wee told MAS that this was the final version of the report prepared prior to the IPO when he knew that this was untrue.

"MAS investigated the matter as there were suspicions that the report had been amended post-IPO and that Mr Lan and Mr Wee had provided false information to MAS," said the authority. 

During investigations, both men made several false statements, including affirming repeatedly that they had received the amended version of the report before the IPO, said MAS. 

On Jul 1, 2020, Lan and Wee were each charged with three counts of furnishing false information to the MAS investigators under section 162(3) of the SFA. 

On Mar 9 this year, both men pleaded guilty and were each convicted of one charge, with the remaining two charges taken into consideration during their sentencing.

They were each fined S$3,000.

"Lan and Wee’s convictions for offences involving dishonesty, as well as their conduct during MAS’ inspection, have given MAS reason to believe that Lan and Wee have not and will not carry out regulated activities under the SFA honestly," said MAS. 

Ms Loo Siew Yee, MAS' assistant managing director for policy, payments and financial crime, said that the authority "expects representatives of issue managers to act with honesty and integrity at all times".

"In providing false information to MAS, the representatives had hindered MAS’ performance of its regulatory functions, which are aimed at protecting investors and the integrity of our capital markets," she added. 

"Such conduct will not be tolerated.”

Source: CNA/ad(ac)

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