Japan banker kills himself after losing $1.9 million in rogue trading

TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese banker who lost US$1.5 million (S$1.9 million) he had persuaded clients to invest off his employer's books has killed himself, Resona Bank said on Friday.

The unnamed 25-year-old told three clients of the Osaka-based bank last year that he could generate profits if they entrusted their cash to him.

The banker, who worked at the bank's Ikebukuro branch in Tokyo, collected a total of 155 million yen (S$1.9 million) from them without informing his superiors, said a spokesman with the bank. "But most of the money appeared to be lost as he allegedly used the funds in foreign exchange and other trading," the spokesman said.

In January, the bank questioned him over the case after one of the three clients complained that he was uncontactable. The following day the man killed himself, the spokesman said.

The bank prohibits its employees from collecting funds for investment without permission.

The case was "extremely regrettable," the spokesman said, adding that the bank has reported it to the Financial Service Agency.