Former OCBC bank officer jailed for certifying, submitting forged documents in customers' credit card, loan applications
SINGAPORE: A former OCBC bank loan officer was sentenced to eight months' jail on Tuesday (Apr 26) for certifying forged income documents, which he submitted along with customers’ applications for credit cards and loans.
Lau Wei Chong Nicholas, 26, faced three counts of using as genuine forged income documents, with another count of the same offence taken into consideration during sentencing.
Police said in a news release that they received information in April 2020 that forged payslips and Central Provident Fund (CPF) employment contribution statements were submitted to OCBC as proof of income to support four separate applications for credit cards and loans.
Investigations showed the applicants had initially responded to loan advertisements that they came across on online platforms, which offered assistance in obtaining a loan or credit card from a bank within a short time and for a service fee.
They were subsequently contacted by unidentified third parties who directed them to apply for the credit cards or loans at certain OCBC branches in person.
The applicants went to OCBC branches on four separate occasions without bringing along any proof of income documents, and they were attended to by Lau.
"Applicants would normally submit originals of their payslips and/or retrieve their latest CPF employment contribution statement in the presence of the loan officer," said police.
"However, Nicholas did not ask the four applicants to show him the income documents in the abovementioned manner.
"Instead, he received their documents via email or WhatsApp and he later certified them to be genuine even though he had reason to believe they were not."
Two such applications were approved, and OCBC incurred losses of nearly S$36,500.
Anyone found guilty of using as genuine a forged document can be jailed for up to four years, fined, or both.
"Financial institutions in Singapore require credit card and loan applicants to submit proof of income. Members of the public are advised not to respond to third-party advertisements that offer to secure credit facilities from financial institutions, without requiring any proof of income," said police.
"The police take a serious view against any person who may be involved in using or assisting to use forged documents to apply for credit cards and bank loans."