Two ex-UOB Kay Hian employees banned for giving false information to MAS

The two had lied to MAS inspectors about the contents of a due diligence report prepared by a UOBKH-appointed private investigation firm. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Two former senior employees of brokerage firm UOB Kay Hian (UOBKH) were banned by Singapore's central bank after they were convicted earlier this year in the State Courts for offences involving dishonesty.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Thursday (Sept 2) that it has issued a four-year prohibition order (PO) against Lan Kangming and a three-year PO against Wee Toon Lee. The POs came into effect on Wednesday.

"The two former representatives of UOB Kay Hian are prohibited from performing any regulated activity and from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market services firm under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA)," MAS said in a statement.

Lan and Wee had provided corporate financial advisory services for initial public offerings (IPOs) at UOBKH. Lan, a senior vice-president, was Wee's superior.

The two had lied to MAS inspectors about the contents of a due diligence report prepared by a UOBKH-appointed private investigation firm for the IPO of a company listed on the Singapore Exchange's Catalist board.

During the inspection, conducted by MAS on UOBKH between June and August 2018, Lan told MAS that background checks on individuals and entities related to the company had been conducted. Lan did not actually know whether the checks had been done, MAS said.

Lan 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 in July 2018.

Wee told MAS that this was in fact 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 Lan and Wee had provided false information to MAS.

During investigations, Lan and Wee made several false statements, including affirming repeatedly that they had received the amended version of the report before the IPO.

In July 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 March 9 this year, they pleaded guilty and were each convicted of one charge, with the remaining two charges taken into consideration during their sentencing. They were also fined $3,000 each.

Ms Loo Siew Yee, MAS assistant managing director for policy, payments and financial crime, said that the central bank 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. Such conduct will not be tolerated," she noted.

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